2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist unveiled

Copyright Agency, 3rd July 2019 The 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award Shortlist is:
  • THE LEBS by Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Hachette Australia): This coming-of-age novel explores the life of Bani Adam, as he grows up in Sydney’s western suburbs in a post-9/11 political climate. Bani has to negotiate his sense of identity and belonging in this hostile, confusing world, while dreaming of so much more.
  • A SAND ARCHIVE by Gregory Day (Picador Australia): Seeking stories of Australia’s Great Ocean Road, a young writer stumbles across a manual from a minor player in the road’s history, engineer FB Herschell. The slim, grey volume appears unremarkable, but it paints a surprising portrait of its author between the lines.
  • A STOLEN SEASON by Rodney Hall (Picador Australia): This novel explores the stories of three people whose lives have been changed profoundly by war, men and money, and their experiences of a period of life they never thought possible.
  • THE DEATH OF NOAH GLASS by Gail Jones (Text Publishing): Having just returned from a trip to Sicily, art historian Noah Glass is discovered floating face down in the swimming pool at his Sydney apartment. Complicating matters, a sculpture has gone missing from a museum in Palermo, and Noah is a suspect. His children Martin and Evie must come to terms with their father’s death in this novel of grief, loss and artistic contemplation. Gail has previously been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin for Sixty Lights (2006), Dreams of Speaking (2007), Sorry (2008) and longlisted for Five Bells (2012).
  • TOO MUCH LIP by Melissa Lucashenko (The University of Queensland Press): Wise-cracking Kerry Slater has spent a lifetime avoiding two things – her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she’s an inch away from the lockup, so she heads south on a stolen Harley. With plans to spend 24 hours, tops, over the border, she quickly realises that family and Bundjalung country have other plans. Melissa has been previously longlisted for the Miles Franklin with Mullumbimby in 2014.
  • DYSCHRONIA by Jennifer Mills (Picador Australia): One morning, the residents of a small coastal town somewhere in Australia wake to discover the sea has disappeared. One among them has been plagued by troubling visions of this cataclysm for years. Is she a prophet? Does she have a disorder that skews her perception of time? Or is she a gifted and compulsive liar?
More here

Issue 53 of ‘Otoliths’ is now live

Forget Coachella! Issue 53, the southern autumn, 2019, issue of Otoliths, has more variety & much more talent. Plays, poems, paintings, reviews, stories, collaborations galore.

This issue contains work from Lynn Strongin, Jeff Bagato, Pete Spence, Kyle Hemmings, Seth Howard, Andrew Topel, Jim Leftwich, Steve Potter, Sanjeev Sethi, David Baptiste Chirot, Alison Ross, Mike Callaghan, John M. Bennett, Stephen Bett, Jim Meirose, Joel Chace, John Bradley, Dah, Ian Ganassi, Laura Bell, Emilio Morandi, Steve Dalachinsky, Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah, R. Keith, Cecelia Chapman, Keith Polette, Daniel de Culla, M. Liberto Gorgoni, Olivier Schopfer, Mary Cresswell, Jack Galmitz, Anton Yakovlev, B. J. Muirhead, Nina Živančević, Gregory Kimbrell, Cameron Lowe, Pat Nolan, Richard Kostelanetz, Daniel f. Bradley, Sheila E. Murphy, Adam Fieled, Bill Wolak, Márton Koppány, M.J. Iuppa, Gregory Stephenson, Elaine Woo, Karl Kempton, J. D. Nelson, Carol Stetser, Neil Leadbeater, Texas Fontanella, Tony Mancus & CL Bledsoe, gobscure, David Lohrey, Douglas Barbour, Keith Higginbotham, Guy R. Beining, Sarah Sarai, hiromi suzuki, Thomas Fink, Maya D. Mason, Carla Bertola, Tom Beckett, Randee Silv & Mumtazz, Mark DuCharme, Michael O’Brien, Elmedin Kadric, Keith Nunes, Bob Heman, John Kalliope, Rebecca Ruth Gould, Charles Borkhuis, Tony Beyer, Kenneth Rexroth, Maralena Howard, Stu Hatton, Michael Brandonisio, Brian Glaser, Penelope Weiss, Stephen Nelson, Tom Daley, Bernie Earley, Anna Cates, Jeff Harrison, John Levy, Vernon Frazer, Miro Sandev, Sabine Miller, Christopher Barnes, Nick Nelson, Jimmy Rivoltella, Katrinka Moore, Joe Balaz, Marilyn Stablein, Paul Pfleuger, Jr., John Pursch, Joseph Buehler, Colleen Woods, Michael Philip Castro, Michael Prihoda, Henry Crawford, Wes Lee, & Gay Beste Reineck.

‘Liminal’ magazine: interview with Michelle D’Souza

‘Liminal’ magazine is a relatively young, energetic online space ‘for the exploration, interrogation and celebration of the Asian-Australian experience’.

To learn more of the magazine and its creative team, visit the 2017 Digital Writer’s Festival session, ‘A Platform of One’s Own: Liminal Magazine’.

The most recent issue of the magazine features Sumudu Samarawickrama’s interview with Michelle D’Souza, poet, critic and managing editor of Mascara Literary Review.

Can you tell us what you have planned for the future?
I have been working on my novel and a trickle of new poems. I’m delighted that UWAP are re-publishing my second poetry collection, Vishvarūpa, this year as it was out of print with 5 Islands Press who are closing shop. I’m also thrilled for the collection of stories that Margaret River Press are publishing, We’ll Stand In That Place, which I was privileged to judge.

Of course, I hope that as a community we can continue to support each other and expand our diverse, transnational spaces, reaching out to writers from other countries and being in conversation with writers and thinkers here in Australia. I am careful in what editing roles I might take up going forward as it has conflicted with my writing time.

I am also writing a scholarly essay on Interceptionality and the work of Behrouz Boochani as a way of reflecting on the unsettlement of Australian poetics.

Read more at Interview with Michelle D’Souza.

Questions with Tansy Rayner Roberts

What is your favourite thing about living and working in Tasmania?

I’ve never lived or worked anywhere else for more than a few months, so it’s a hard one to answer. Don’t tell them all how great it is here, Kate, they’ll all want to move here! I like the people and the pretty scenery. I like that our cities are small. It’s a lot easier to live here now you can order literally anything from any other country (missing out on TV or books that didn’t come here used to wear on me when I was younger). I love that I live somewhere that’s between a mountain and the ocean. I belong here.

More at Kate Gordon (blog)

2019 Hazel Rowley Fellowship shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 2019 Hazel Rowley Fellowship is:

Maggie Tonkin (South Australia) for a biography of renowned Australian choreographer Meryl Tankard
Brigitta Olubas (NSW) for a biography of writer Shirley Hazzard
Eleanor Hogan (Northern Territory) for her project on the friendship between Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates
Stephenie Cahalan (Tasmania) writing about artist Jean Belette, ‘The Modern Woman of Australian Modernism’
Gabrielle Carey (NSW) for a biography of Elizabeth von Arnim, who was Katherine Mansfield’s cousin and a writer herself, known for her novel Elizabeth and Her German Garden
James Boyce (Tasmania) for a new biography of Governor Lachlan Macquarie
James Mairata (NSW) for a biography about Australian film and television producer Hal McElroy
Diana James (NSW) for her proposal ‘Open Hearted Country: Nganyinytja’s Story’

More at Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship

‘Disturbing’: government intervenes in Melbourne Uni publishing turmoil

By Henrietta Cook & Clay Luca, The Sydney Morning Herald, 31st Jan 2019

Some university insiders believe Ms Adler’s decision to publish ABC reporter Louise Milligan’s controversial award-winning book about Cardinal George Pell was a catalyst for the overhaul.

But others say the changes were due to the publisher’s financial performance and concerns some academics’ works were being overlooked in favour of more commercial texts backed by Ms Adler.

Former New South Wales premier and foreign minister Bob Carr and former human rights commissioner Gillian Triggs, both of whom have been published by Ms Adler, were among those who quit the board in disgust.

Well-known publisher Hilary McPhee, an MUP author and former board member, said Australian publishers needed to “publish high and low and scholarly books that people want to read, not just academic books. MUP have done a great mix for a long time”.

More at The Sydney Morning Herald

Behrouz Boochani: detained asylum seeker wins Australia’s richest literary prize

Calla Wahlquist, The Guardian, 31st Jan 2019

The winner of Australia’s richest literary prize did not attend the ceremony.

His absence was not by choice.

Behrouz Boochani, whose debut book won both the $25,000 non-fiction prize at the Victorian premier’s literary awards and the $100,000 Victorian prize for literature on Thursday night, is not allowed into Australia.

The Kurdish Iranian writer is an asylum seeker who has been kept in purgatory on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for almost six years, first behind the wire of the Australian offshore detention centre, and then in alternative accommodation on the island.

Now his book No Friend But the Mountains – composed one text message at a time from within the detention centre – has been recognised by a government from the same country that denied him access and locked him up.

Read more at The Guardian

[A (condensed) version of Behrouz Boochani’s ‘A letter from Manus Island’ was performed in Hobart last year at MAC’s Concert for Refugees].