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2018 WRITERS

Louise Allan

Louise Allan’s debut novel, The Sisters’ Song, was published in 2018 by Allen & Unwin. The manuscript was previously shortlisted for the 2014 City of Fremantle-TAG Hungerford Award and earned its author a Varuna Residential Fellowship. Louise grew up in Tasmania, but now lives in Perth. Her first career was as a doctor, but in 2010 she ceased practising medicine and took up writing. She has had short stories, essays and articles published in literary anthologies and medical journals.

Robyn Davidson

Robyn Davidson’s first book, Tracks, an account of her solitary journey with camels across Australia, won many awards, and has been published in twenty languages. She has been travelling ever since, writing a novel, a second award-winning travel book (an account of two years spent with Indian nomads), an anthology for Picador, a feature film for ABC television, and many essays, including a Quarterly Essay published by Black Inc. Her literary reviews, travel writings and journalistic pieces have been published in international newspapers and magazines. Robyn has given lectures at the New York Public Library, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Geographical Society. Currently she is working on her memoir, Self Portrait with Imaginary Mother, the opening chapter of which won the Blazey Award.

Barry Hill

Barry Hill has won Premier’s Awards for poetry, non-fiction and the essay. His most recent book is the Reason and Lovelessness; Essays, Encounters, Reviews 1980—2017, which derives from his major works, including Broken Song (his biography of the anthropologist TGH Strehlow), and Peacemongers (his tour de force about modern violence and the peace-making life of Rabindranath Tagore). His poetic works include major studies of William Buckley, ’the wild white man’, and the celebrated English painter, Lucian Freud, which was shortlisted for the UK’s Forward Prize. His short fiction has been widely anthologised. He lives in Queenscliff with his wife, the singer-songwriter, Rose Bygrave, and serves as the judge for the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal.

Jane Hirschfield 

Jane Hirshfield’s most recent book of poetry (her eighth) is The Beauty (Knopf and Bloodaxe, 2015), long-listed for the National Book Award. Her second collection of essays, Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (Knopf, 2015), received the Northern California Book Award. She is also the editor and co-translator of four books presenting the work of world poets from the past. Previous honours include The Poetry Center Book Award, the California Book Award, the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the Academy of American Poets, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Hirshfield’s work appears in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times, The Guardian, Poetry, and eight editions of The Best American Poetry.

Les Murray

Les Murray, the festival's patron, is Australia's most celebrated poet internationally: his work has been published in seventeen languages and has garnered numerous awards, including the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, the Petrarch prize, the Mondello Prize, and the Christopher Brennan Award. In 1999, he was made an Honoary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Paul Kane

Paul Kane is a poet, critic, and scholar. He has published seven collections of poems and a dozen other books, most recently Welcome Light (2016) Renga: 100 Poems (with John Kinsella, 2017), and A Passing Bell: Ghazals for Tina (2018). His work appears in the US, Australia, and the UK, and has been translated into French, Italian and Chinese. He has received several awards, including a Fulbright, Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, as well as an honorary doctorate from La Trobe University. He is poetry editor for Antipodes, artistic director for the Mildura Writers Festival, and general editor of The Braziller Series of Australian Poets. He teaches at Vassar College, and divides his time between homes in Warwick, NY, and rural Victoria.

Cate Kennedy

Cate Kennedy writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry and has been published widely in Australia and in the U.S.A, the U.K and France.  She has won several awards for her work, including the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for her poetry collection The Taste of River Water and the People’s Choice prize in the NSW Premier’s Awards for her 2009 novel The World Beneath.  Her most recent short story collection, Like a House on Fire is currently on the VCE English syllabus.  She lives in Castlemaine with her 12 year-old daughter, another avid reader, and is working on a new novel.

James Ley

James Ley is Contributing Editor with the Sydney Review of Books. His essays and criticism have appeared in numerous publications, including The Age, The Australian, The Times Literary Supplement and Australian Book Review. In 2014, he was awarded the Geraldine Pascall Prize for Australian Critic of the Year. He is the author of The Critic in the Modern World: Public Criticism from Samuel Johnson to James Wood (2014) and co-editor with Catriona Menzies-Pike of The Australian Face: Essays from the Sydney Review of Books (2017). 

David Malouf

David Malouf is the internationally acclaimed author of fiction, poetry, non-fiction essays and memoirs, and libretti. His books include the novels Ransom, The Great World (winner of the Commonwealth Writers' prize and the Prix Femina Etranger), Remembering Babylon (winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), An Imaginary Life, Conversations at Curlow Creek; short story collections: Dream Stuff, Every Move You Make and Collected Stories (winner of the 2008 Australia-Asia Literary Award); Selected Poems 1959-1989 and Typewriter Music; and his autobiographical work, 12 Edmonstone Street. His most recent books are A First Place and The Writing Life

Marie Munkara

Of Rembarranga and Tiwi descent, Marie Munkara was delivered on the banks of the Mainoru River in Arnhem land by her two grandmothers and spent her early years on Bathurst Island. She has written two novels, Every Secret Thing (winner of the David Unaipon Award in 2008 and the 2010 Northern Territory Book of the Year) and A Most Peculiar Act; two children’s books, Rusty Brown, Rusty and Jojo; and a memoir, Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea (shortlisted for the NSW Premiers Award in 2017). Marie is currently writing a TV mini-series based on Every Secret Thing and working on her PhD.

Sian Prior

Sian Prior is a writer, broadcaster, creative-writing teacher and musician. She has been a presenter on ABC Radio National, 774 ABC Melbourne and ABC Classic FM, and contributed a weekly column to The Age newspaper. She is an award-winning short story writer and her essays have been published in Meanjin, Fairfax publications, and Penguin's Women of Letters anthology. Her first book, Shy: A Memoir, was published by Text in 2014. She is currently the 2018 Mildura Writer in Residence.









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