Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the sacred lands on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nations and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past present and future.

We recognise all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first storytellers; and that knowledge transfer through storytelling is imbedded in the very DNA of this Country.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

Monica Karo

Monica Jasmine Karo, proud Gunai, Gunditjmara & Mukjarawaint, is a multifaceted performance artist living, making and
thriving, on Naarm country. Monica is
actor, singer, writer, and notable emerging playwright.
Her 10-year portfolio of works and collaborations include productions with Ibijerri Theatre Company, La Mama Theatre, Melbourne Playback Theatre, Blak & Bright Festival.
In 2018 Monica was mentored by award winning poet Ali Cobby-Eckermann, through which she showcased original spoken word work at the Wheeler Centre. This work was later performed at the opening of the Yaluk-ut Weelam Festival (2019).
In 2010 her poem Urban Dreaming was performed to a musical composition by James Henry, for the opening of Yirramboi Festival. Urban Dreaming was later published by Yirramboi Blak Bloggers.
Monica is currently completing development of her play Mother’s Country which, in 2019, showcased an excerpt at the Melbourne Theatre Company as part of Ilbijerri Theatre Company’s Black Wrights, curated by Kamarra Bell-Wykes, directed by Rachael Maza, and dramaturged by Carly Sheppard.
In 2020 Monica recorded music for the Radio Reimagined Festival and was commissioned to write and record new work in collaboration with Culture Evolves for Fuse Darebin Wurru Wurru Spring (2020), curated by Allara Briggs Pattison.
In August 2021, Monica starred alongside Dion Williams in the Ilbijerri Theatre Company’s, Heart Is a Wasteland written by John Harvey, music written by Lydia Fairhall and directed by Rachael Maza and music director Gary Watling. Heart Is a Wasteland opened to a sold-out season at Browns Mart Theatre, Darwin Festival (2021).
Most recently Monica performed alongside Allara, Bumpy, Alice Skye, Ensemble Dutala and friends for the 2021 opening of the Yaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee Festival, featuring a collaborative song called Burrunan celebrating and acknowledging the rare Matriarchal pods of Burrunan dolphin found along Boonwurrung and Gunai/Kurnai coastlines.
Monica studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts.



The Monologues

Hear the best monologues to come from Blak playwrights including Kodie Bedford, Richard Frankland, Jane Harrison, Anita Heiss, Andrea James (with Catherine Ryan), Nakkiah Lui, Maryanne Sam, Dylan Van Den Berg, Ursula Yovich (with Alana Valentine). Read by two of our finest actors.

March 19, 2022