This week reports emerged of New South Wales HSC students harassing and racially abusing poet Ellen van Neerven on social media after her poem Mango, from the collection Comfort Food, was included in the English exam. Poet and Indigenous literature academic Tony Birch spoke to Crikey about the events.

On racist abuse in the public sphere

"I was devastated, but I shouldn’t be. As much as the comments were terrible, it's nothing new to Aboriginal people. It's nothing new to people confronted by racism in the country all the time.