Bir'yun is a Yolngu word denoting qualities of sparkle, glitter and shine. The word is sometimes used by artists when they are nearing completion of bark paintings. Suddenly the energy of the ancestors comes alive on the bark – and the painting becomes bir'yun.
Maria Tumarkin reads to us in her native Russian and tells of the important role Joseph Brodsky played in her coming of age in 1980s Russia: 'No one was more important to me than him... I copied his poems by hand in my special notebooks and I think I learnt about what language can do by doing that.'
Emily Ballou mesmerised at Purgatorio: Australia Today with her poem on the fragility of our environment, bringing our gaze to a group of nesting swans beset by mottled tourists. Read her poem in full below.