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.
Martha Nussbaum has centred much of her remarkable work on the link between literary imagination and public life. Whitman is for her a special exemplar and favourite. Hear this in her reading from The Necessary Poet.
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.