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More than these bones

[supplied by Paula Grace]


Bebe Backhouse. Image: supplied

more than these bones by Bardi Jawi man Bebe Backhouse is a formidable debut poetry
collection about blak queer love, loss and self-discovery, released 1 March by Magabala Books.

Bebe, who just won the City of Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Award, says the book was catalysed by loss and then heightened by self-discovery.

“Writing about my heartbreak set me free,” says Bebe when asked about the process of
writing the book. “I realised I didn’t need to be silent anymore. I could bring a voice to my

“Publishing this book is a vulnerable position to be in, but a powerful one.”

The book is also a journey through queer identity and self-acceptance.

“When I broke up with my partner, the only gay identity I had was through him. When the
relationship ended, I was lost. The process of writing about myself as a gay man and giving
myself the licence to be myself gave me permission to be proud of that part of me,” says

“I found so much strength and encouragement in the process of exploring my sexual identity.”

Alongside Bebe’s words are photographs and hand-drawn notes, making the book a personal and heartfelt experience.

“This is a spellbinding book that will touch anyone who’s known heartbreak,” said Magabala Editor Arlie Alizzi. “We are so happy for Bebe and proud to support his brilliant debut.”

more than these bones will be launched at Readings Carlton on Thursday 23 March.


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