Eleanor Hogan

Eleanor Hogan has lived and worked on and off in Central Australia for almost two decades. The author of several books on Centralian themes, various articles and reviews, she’s a policy researcher who’s also taught creative writing and Australian literature to university and high school students. She feels something’s missing when she’s not listening to a podcast or the radio.

Great Centralian reading for the weekend.

Book Chat with Eleanor Hogan– featuring conversations about books, usually with Centralian or Territorian content, often with their authors. Also occasional chats with historians and other local boffins about aspects of Central Australian history and heritage.

This first series was broadcast fortnightly on Saturday afternoons on the Cook & Book show (‘what to cook and read on the weekend’) during 2022 on 8CCC Community Radio Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, 102.1 FM. In some eps, cohosts Eleanor Hogan and Rita Cattoni chat about a book together or with a writer; in others, Eleanor discusses a book in-depth with its author. 

On Demand


25 Nov 2023

25 Nov 2023 S2 E14 – Luke Scholes on Sun and Shadow 'The first acrylic desert art paintings were radical and transformative acts. They spoke, and continue to speak, across vastly different and ever more entangled worlds. They illuminated another Australia. They sang its songs’, Professor John Carty writes in Sun and Shadow: Art of the Spinifex People.  Sun and Shadow is a rich compendium of artworks and essays about the art, history and experiences of the Spinifex people or pila nguru living at Tjuntjuntjara community in remote south-west Australia. Co-editor Luke Scholes discusses the impact of events such as the Maralinga atomic tests, the handback of native title in 2002 and the creation of the Spinifex Arts Project on the pila nguru at Tjuntjuntjara.

11 Nov 2023

11 Nov 2023 S2 E13 – Dan Box on The Man Who Wasn't There On 27 October 2023, Aboriginal man Zak Grieve was released on parole after serving over 12 years in the NT prison system for the murder of Ray Niceforo – a contract killing that he claimed not to have attended.  This week, Dan Box discusses his book about Grieve, The Man Who Wasn’t There: A true story about lies, murder and the Territory,  probing the NT justice system, the inequities of mandatory sentencing and overrepresentation of First Nations people in NT prisons. It's also a testimony to the consolation of writing.

28 Oct 2023

28 Oct 2023 S2 E12 – Natalie Stockdale and Tanya Heaslip on Campfire for a Woman's Heart Campfires, resilience and inspirational women are themes that resonate strongly with Centralian life. In this week's episode of Book Chat, resilience coach Natalie Stockdale chats about her new anthology of women's life stories, Campfire for a Woman's Heart, with local contributor, Tanya Heaslip (From Alice to Prague, An Alice Girl and Beyond Alice.) Is resilience learned or innate? Can we prepare ourselves to face adversity? How have other women responded to hardship in their lives?  To visit Natalie's website or pitch a story for a future anthology, see: https://www.stockdalewellbeing.com/

14 Oct 2023

14 Oct 2023 S2 E11 – Don Christophersen on A Little Bit of Justice On 15 July 1893, Aboriginal stockman Charlie Flannigan became the first man to be executed in the Northern Territory after shooting station manager Sam Croker during a game of cribbage. During his imprisonment at Fannie Bay gaol, Flannigan was given drawing materials and sketched vignettes of his travels and station and bush life. Recently, Darwin-based First Nations historian Donald Christophersen uncovered a rare cache of Flannigan’s finely wrought sketches at the South Australian Museum. In A Little Bit of Justice, Don presents a collection of Flannigan’s artwork and archival documents relating to the events leading to his execution. In this  Book Chat episode, Don shares insights into the gaps and silences surrounding Flannigan’s story, the significance of his artwork and the colour bias in NT executions. Broadcast: 14 October 2023 Don Christophersen is a descendant of the First Nations language groups of the Cobourg Peninsula and Kakadu National Park and works as a historian for Library and Archives NT.  A Little Bit of Justice is available from Red Kangaroo Books or the author: [email protected]

26 Aug 2023

26 Aug 2023 S2 E10 – Beth Driscoll & Sandra Phillips on Community Publishing What if the future of the book in Australia doesn't emerge from Silicon Valley, London or Sydney, but is rather in the hands of grassroots organisations with local aspirations? Researchers Beth Driscoll and Sandra Phillips from the Community Publishing project discuss why, despite persistent stories about literary downturns, publishing is thriving in regional Australia, especially in Mparntwe Alice Springs.

13 Aug 2023

13 Aug 2023 S2 E9 – David Jagger on To Kill a Crested Bellbird The jury’s in, sequestered-slash-quarantined overnight on a serious criminal case in the suitably imposing Alice Springs courthouse. But the jury’s well and truly out on whether or not justice will be served, what with all the baggage the jurors have brought to the case, the misapprehensions.  In this week’s episode of Book Chat, David Jagger discusses his new book, To Kill a Crested Bellbird and Other Short Stories, a ‘loosely law-themed’ short story collection and novella, which casts a wry, unsentimental eye over the grittier aspects of Centralian life. David Jagger is a long-time Alice Springs-based anthropologist, journalist and writer, who’s worked for 25 years in Aboriginal community development and land rights in Central Australia. His stories have been published in journals and shortlisted in the NT Literary Awards; The Development Drip won the inaugural national Wet Ink Short Story Prize. David is a sometime community broadcaster and a board member of the Arid Lands Environment Centre.

30 Jul 2023

30 Jul 2023 S2 E8 – Betty Sweetlove on The Nestmakers How do you make theatre that intervenes in the historical record and generates moments of collective joy in the Red Centre? In this week’s episode, Betty Sweetlove discusses all things Centralian drama, including her play, The Nestmakers, ‘a time capsule of climate change anxieties’, and her new theatrical work, Lurker, which celebrates growing up online and her obsession with the Mighty Boosh. Betty also shares her insights into developing a dramatic practice, especially in regional centres such as Mparntwe, and upcoming opportunities for NT dramatists and performers. Resources: @theatre_makers_0870 Australian Plays Transform (APT): https://apt.org.au/ PlayLab: https://playlabtheatre.com.au/ Fresh Ink (Browns Mart): https://brownsmart.com.au/fresh-ink/ Betty recommends: N K Jemisin, Broken Earth Trilogy; Chris Flynn, Here Be Leviathans; Mark O’Connell, To Be A Machine; Eleanor recommends: Eleanor Catton, Birnam Wood

1 Jul 2023

1 Jul 2023 S2 E7 – Kerry Taylor on Mr Smith to You What was it like to live a life in secret, fearful of being exposed for not living according to the gender identity accompanying the sex assigned to you at birth, in the last century? In this episode of Book Chat, Kerry Taylor discusses the challenges of writing Mr Smith to You, her novel based on the intriguing true story of 20th-century Australian jockey, Bill Smith. Assigned female at birth, he lived most of his adult life as a man, including the male-dominated sporting arena of the racecourse. Feminist hero, female jockey or trans pioneer – Bill Smith claimed none of these accolades and identities himself. Kerry discusses the complexities of re-telling Bill’s story and the value of recounting the historical struggles of those who lived outside conventional gender 'norms'.

25 Jun 2023

25 Jun 2023 S2 E6 – Bronwyn Druce on Red Kangaroo Books Red Kangaroo Books' Bronwyn Druce needs no introduction in Mparntwe Alice Springs – which is not what you might expect for a bookseller in an outback town. Bronwyn has brought her energy and passion for all things books and reading to the remote heart of Australia for over a decade at Red Kangaroo Books, the only bricks-and-mortar independent bookshop between Port Augusta, Darwin, Broome and Broken Hill. Recently her achievement was recognised at the National Book People's Conference in Adelaide, where she jointly won the Text Publishing Bookseller of the Year Award. Bronwyn discusses her recent trip to the literary big smoke and emerging publishing trends (romance is on the rise!) plus winter reading recommendations available at Red Kangaroo Books, with a special focus on the National Library's Vintage Knits – a knitting book with 25 patterns from the women's periodicals in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Live broadcast at the Alice Springs Beanie Festival: 24 June 2023.

17 Jun 2023

17 Jun 2023 S2 E5 David Eldridge on Marian Eldridge What’s it like to have a writer for a mother? Alice Springs lawyer, fractivist and buffelbuster David Eldridge talks about his mother Marian Eldridge, an accomplished short story writer and reviewer, and a member of the Canberra Seven writers' group. David discusses her life and writing, the Canberra Seven, regional arts cultures, and how Marian Eldridge managed to be a writer and a mother during the 1970s and '80s when it was less acceptable for women to write and publish. Broadcast: 17 June 2023.

4 Jun 2023

4 Jun 2023 S2 E4 Penny MacDonald on Audrey Napanangka Penny MacDonald, director of Audrey Napanangka, discusses her friendship with Audrey and the making of this remarkable documentary over ten years. Subtle yet powerful, the film gains its momentum by focussing on the everyday domestic life of Warlpiri woman Audrey Napanangka, her Sicilian partner Santo, negotiating across cultures in Mparntwe Alice Springs, Yuendumu and Mt Theo as they try to keep their family together. Broadcast: 2 June 2023

21 May 2023

21 May 2023 S2 E3 Louise Omer on Holy Woman Louise Omer was once a Pentecostal preacher and faithful wife, but when her marriage crumbled, so did her beliefs. Holy Woman is her memoir about what it means to be female in a religion that worships a male God. Haunted by questions, Louise left behind a church and home to ask women around the world: how can we exist in patriarchal religion? And can a woman be holy?  Louise Omer is a writer born on Kaurna Country with essays, criticism, and poetry published in The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, The Lifted Brow, and more. Beyond Australia, she has lived in Scotland and Ireland, and has a heart connection to many lands, seas, and people. Holy Woman is published by Scribe Publications and is available at Red Kangaroo Books. Broadcast: 20 May 2023

26 Mar 2023

26 Mar 2023 S2 E2 Shaun Prescott on The Town & Bon and Lesley Shaun Prescott is a writer based in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. His debut novel was published in 2017. The Town is about an author struggling to write a book about the disappearing towns of central NSW while living in an unnamed, generic country town. A post-realist contribution to the Wake in Fright genre, The Town has been likened to that of Kafka, Calvino, David Ireland and Gerard Murnane and was published in the UK, USA, Germany, Japan, Netherlands and Spain. Prescott’s second novel, Bon and Lesley, published in 2022, features a nightmarish descent into an alternate reality fuelled by end-of-anthropocene anxieties in the imaginary yet familiar regional town of Newnes after a bushfire stops a train in the mountains. Broadcast: Saturday, 25 March 2023 

25 Mar 2023

25 Mar 2023 S2 E1 Sarah Holland-Batt on The Jaguar Poet, academic and critic Sarah Holland-Batt discusses Revive: National Cultural Policy, why Australia needs a poet laureate, whether poetry is undergoing a revival, her book The Jaguar, and her aged care advocacy. The Jaguar was named The Australian's 2022 Book of the Year and has just been long-listed for the Stella Prize and short-listed for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2023. Broadcast: Saturday, 11 March 2023.

18 Dec 2022

18 Dec 2022 S1 E11 Shannyn Palmer on Unmaking Angas Downs ‘What kind of place is Angas Downs? The journey to understand the history of this place began with an assumption of this cattle station as a product of colonial (dis)possession and myth-making in the Northern Territory. It ended with an understanding of Angas Downs as a deeply storied place – not only lived in, but (un)made by the Anangu who lived there.’ Why write a book about a derelict pastoral station between Alice Springs and Uluru? Historian and community-engaged practitioner, Shannyn Palmer, talks to Eleanor Hogan about writing Unmaking Angas Downs and how Anangu approaches to journeying and story-telling revealed the layered stories behind this pastoral station. Broadcast: 3 December 2022.

18 Dec 2022

18 Dec 2022 S1 E10 Kim Mahood on Wandering with Intent ‘To essay means to try, to endeavour, to attempt. It implies risk and failure. It is also the only way to find out whether something is possible.’ So begins writer, artist and mapmaker Kim Mahood’s new book, Wandering with Intent, a collection of essays about her creative and geographical wandering through the heartland of Australia. Brought up on Tanami Downs Station and having attended school in Alice Springs, she has a longstanding connection with Central Australia, both as an insider and as an outside observer. Based in Canberra, she continues to wander across the continent, especially in remote desert areas, working closely with Aboriginal people on cultural and environmental mapping projects. She is the author of two previous non-fiction books: Craft for a Dry Lake and Position Doubtful, which will be well known to many listeners in Central Australia, not least because she frequents these parts but because she writes about the dynamics of life in remote Australia. This episode features a wide-ranging conversation with Kim, covering such terrain as why essays provide a suitable vehicle for reflecting on remote Australia, the difficulties of writing about the contact zone between kardiya and Aboriginal people in remote Australia, the long tail of ‘Kardiya are like Toyotas’, why academic writing is like a brainworm, and why she finds writing the hardest out of all her creative practices. Broadcast: 19 November 2022.

18 Dec 2022

18 Dec 2022 S1 E9 Mark McKenna on Return to Uluru Rita and Eleanor talk to historian Mark McKenna about his book, Return to Uluru, and the recent return of Pitjantjatjara man Yukun’s remains to Uluru for burial on Country almost 90 years after his fatal shooting by policeman Bill McKinnon. Mark McKenna is one of Australia’s leading historians, based at the University of Sydney. He is the author of several prize-winning books, including From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories, Looking for Blackfellas’ Point and An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark, which won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for nonfiction and the Victorian, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australian premiers’ awards. Broadcast: 4 November 2022

18 Dec 2022

18 Dec 2022 S1 E8 Cath Bishop on Annie Lock Writer and historian Catherine Bishop talks about her book, Too Much Cabbage and Jesus Christ: Australia’s ‘Mission Girl’ Annie Lock. Who was responsible for the 1928 Coniston Massacre in Central Australia where a police party killed 100 Aboriginal people? Not those who pulled the trigger, according to the Enquiry. Instead it was 'a woman missionary living amongst naked blacks'. This was Annie Lock, the 'whistle-blower' who caused the Enquiry. Annie Lock believed Aboriginal lives mattered, with controversial results. Hear Cath Bishop on this iconoclastic and divisive woman – why remember Annie Lock, how she blew the whistle on the Coniston massacre, can missionaries be a sexy research topic, the stolen generations and more. Broadcast: 8 October 2022

18 Dec 2022

18 Dec 2022 S1 E7 Troublesome Women This is a recording of Troublesome Women, an event featuring authors Eleanor Hogan, Colleen Keating and Cath Bishop, at the Central Australian Aviation Museum on Thursday, 6 October 2022. Who were Daisy Bates, Ernestine Hill, Olive Pink and Annie Lock? Eleanor, Colleen and Cath discuss and read from their books about these complex white women who thought Aboriginal lives mattered and challenged boundaries of female behaviour in early-to-mid 20th century outback Australia. Eleanor Hogan, Into the Loneliness: the unholy alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates. Colleen Keating, Olive Muriel Pink: Her radical and idealistic life: A poetic journey Catherine Bishop, Too Much Cabbage and Jesus Christ: Australia's 'Mission Girl' Annie Lock Hosted by Tanya Heaslip Broadcast: 22 October 2022

18 Dec 2022

18 Dec 2022 S1 E6 Dean Ashenden on Telling Tennant's Story In this episode, writer Dean Ashenden talks about his book, Telling Tennant’s Story, winner of the 2022 Australian Political Book of the Year Award. Dean discusses growing up in Tennant Creek during the 1950s, the Great Australian Silence and how Tennant might feature in a national program of public history and truth-telling. Returning after fifty years to the frontier town where he lived as a boy, Dean Ashenden found Tennant Creek transformed, but its silence about the past still mostly intact. Provoked by a half-hidden account, in Telling Tennant's Story Ashenden set out to understand how the story of ‘relations between two racial groups within a single field of life’ has been told and not told, in this town and across the nation.  Dean Ashenden has worked as an academic and a political adviser, and in journalism. He is the author of Telling Tennant’s Story,. He has written for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian, Guardian Australia, The Financial Review, Inside Story, Meanjin, Crikey and History Australia. He was a presenter on ABC Radio National’s Education Issues program. Broadcast: 24 September 2022

18 Dec 2022

18 Dec 2022 S1 E5 Jeanine Leane on Xavier Herbert's Capricornia In the second of a two-part deep dive into Xavier Herbert's Capricornia, special guest Wiradjurai author and scholar, Jeanine Leane, discusses Herbert's handling of Indigenous and race-related material in this sprawling epic about Territory life in the 1920s. Associate Professor Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri writer, teacher and academic from southwest New South Wales. After a longer teaching career, she completed a doctorate in Australian literature and Aboriginal representation and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at the Australian National University. Jeanine has published widely in the area of Aboriginal literature, writing otherness and creative non-fiction. Jeanine was the recipient of the University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize, and she has won the Oodgeroo Noonucal Prize for Poetry twice (2017 & 2019). Her second volume of poetry, Walk Back Over was released in 2018 by Cordite Press. She was the 2019 recipient of the Red Room Poetry Fellowship for her project called Voicing the Unsettled Space: Rewriting the Colonial Mythscape. In 2020 Jeanine edited Guwayu – for all times – a collection of First Nations Poetry commissioned by Red Room Poetry and published by Magabala Books. Broadcast: 3 September 2022

18 Dec 2022

18 Dec 2022 S1 E4 Dave Richards on Xavier Herbert's Capricornia Did you know that Australian literary icon, Xavier Herbert, 'came home' to Alice Springs to die in 1984 and that he's buried in the Garden Cemetery? That he was a supporter of Aboriginal Land Rights and that Pat Dodson gave the eulogy at his funeral? In the first of a two-part literary deep dive, Rita Cattoni and Eleanor Hogan chat with legendary Alice Springs journalist, Dave Richards, about  Xavier Herbert's Capricornia and his connection with the Territory, especially Alice Springs. Set in the Top End during the late 1920s, Capricornia is a sprawling epic that charts a tumultuous period of Territorian history following the implementation of the Aboriginal Ordinance to police settler-Aboriginal relations. Rita and Eleanor chat with Dave about Herbert's challenging portrayal of this difficult period of NT history in Capricornia, plus Herbert’s last days in Alice Springs. Broadcast: 6 August 2022

18 Dec 2022

18 Dec 2022 S1 E3 Megg Kelham on Alice Springs Memorial Cemetery What can a cemetery tell us about a town? In this episode, Eleanor Hogan takes a walk around Alice Springs General Cemetery with local historian Megg Kelham to hear stories behind its well-known memorials to Albert Namatjira, Harold Lasseter and Olive Pink, as well as: Aboriginal women who rebelled against the state What significant Aboriginal leaders are buried in unmarked graves? Was Olive Pink truly progressive? What do military graves tell us about equality? And how did Muslim cameleers contribute to the town?  (N.B. This episode was recorded outside, and there is a lot of distortion from wind against the mike.) Broadcast: 30 July 2022.

18 Dec 2022

18 Dec 2022 S1 E2 Tess Lea on Wild Policy Can there be good social policy? This book describes what happens to Indigenous policy when it targets the supposedly 'wild people' of regional and remote Australia. Tess Lea explores naturalized policy: policy unplugged, gone live, ramifying in everyday life, to show that it is policies that are wild, not the people being targeted. Lea turns the notion of unruliness on its head to reveal a policy-driven world dominated by short-term political interests and their erratic, irrational effects, and by the less obvious protection of long-term interests in resource extraction and the liberal settler lifestyles this sustains. Wild Policy argues policies are not about undoing the big causes of enduring inequality, and do not ameliorate harms terribly well either—without yielding all hope. Professor Tess Lea is the Head of the Department of Community, Culture and Global Studies at the University of British Columbia. She is the author of Bureaucrats and Bleeding Hearts: Indigenous Health in Northern Australia (2008) and Darwin (2014). Eleanor interviewed Tess when she visited Alice Springs in 2020 shortly after her book was published. Although it took a while to find a broadcast home for the interview, the book's ideas are definitely still relevant.  Broadcast: 13 May 2022

18 Dec 2022

18 Dec 2022 S1 E1 Omar Sakr on Son of Sin This episode features an interview with poet and novelist, Omar Sakr, in March 2022 about his new book, Son of Sin or Ibn Haram, which was published by Affirm Press earlier in the year. Son of Sin is a fascinating, startling and stunning debut novel about sexuality, religion and growing up queer in Sydney’s western suburbs.  Omar Sakr is the author of two acclaimed poetry collections, These Wild Houses (Cordite Books) and The Lost Arabs (UQP). The Lost Arabs won the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the John Bray Poetry Award, the Judith Wright Calanthe Award, and the Colin Roderick Award. Omar is a widely published essayist and editor whose work has been translated into Arabic and Spanish. Born to Lebanese and Turkish Muslim migrants in Western Sydney, he lives there still.  Eleanor interviewed Omar at an outdoor public event hosted by Alice Springs Public Library in conjunction with the NT Writers Centre, which was recorded by 8CCC. It was a sunny, windy March day, and unfortunately, there is some wind distortion on the mike, especially early in the interview. Broadcast: 23 July 2022

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