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2016 Writers

Judith Beveridge

Judith Beveridge is the current Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal judge. She has published six books of poetry, including Devadatta's Poems (Giramondo, 2014) and Hook and Eye: A Selection of Poems in the Braziller Series of Australian Poets (Braziller, USA, 2014). Her awards include the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Poetry, the Victorian Premier's Award for Poetry, the Queensland Premier's Poetry Prize, and, in 2005, the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal for excellence in literature. At present, she teaches post-graduate poetry at Sydney University and serves as poetry editor for Meanjin.

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of five works of fiction - Shadowboxing (2006), Father's Day (2009), Blood (2011), The Promise (2014) and Ghost River (2015), and most recently the poetry collection Broken Teeth (2016). His writing has been critically acclaimed and shortlisted for numerous awards, including the 2012 Miles Franklin Prize (for Blood). Tony works at Victoria University, researching in the relationship between climate change and Indigenous knowledge.

Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto has a Masters in Literary Studies and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Her writing has appeared in various publications, including Meanjin, Island, HEAT, the Age, the Saturday Paper, and the Sydney Morning Herald. The manuscript for her debut novel, The Strays was shortlisted for the 2013 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and the published novel on the 2015 Stella Prize and was shortlisted for the Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, the NSW Premier's Prize for New Writing, and the Dobbie Literary Award. It is also currently longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Prize. Emily is an obsessive reader, music fan, cook, and owns and runs a successful bar in Carlton, Heartattack and Vine.

Richard Denniss

An economist by training, Richard has worked for the past 20 years in a variety of policy and political roles. In recent years he has been at the forefront of the national policy debates surrounding climate change policy and the Australian mining boom. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University.

Prior to working at The Australia Institute Richard was the Strategy Adviser to the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, was Chief of Staff to the then Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, and held teaching and research jobs at Australian universities.

He is known for his ability to translate economics issues into everyday language. Richard has published extensively in academic journals, has a fortnightly column in The Canberra Times and Australian Financial Review and was the co-author of Minority Policy: Rethinking governance when parliament matters (with Dr Brenton Prosser), the best-selling Affluenza (with Dr Clive Hamilton) and An Introduction to Australian Public Policy: Theory and Practice (with Dr Sarah Maddison). His most recent book Econobabble was released in February 2016.

Nick Gadd

Nick Gadd is the 2016 Mildura Writer-in-Residence. Nick grew up in Yorkshire and moved to Melbourne in 1990. He is a novelist, essayist and blogger. His award-winning novel Ghostlines, a mystery set in the Melbourne art world, was published by Scribe in 2008. He has written many essays and articles about Melbourne, history, music, literature and sport for a range of publications including The Guardian, Eureka Street, Griffith Review and Elsewhere: A Journal of Place. Nick currently writes the popular blog Melbourne Circle about roaming around the Melbourne suburbs on foot in search of ghostsigns, derelict factories and lost greyhound racing tracks. He has been a guest at various literary festivals including the Melbourne Writers Festival and won the 2015 Nature Conservancy Australia Nature Writing Prize.

Olga Lorenzo

Olga Lorenzo's new novel, The Light on the Water (Allen and Unwin), was described in the Age as a “brave and memorable book”. Dorothy Johnson called Olga a “wise and honest writer”, adding that despite the novel’s serious themes, it has “a surprising lightness, like the light touch of a cello when playing the most sorrowful of songs”.
The Light on the Water was described in the Melbourne Herald Sun as one of three books that would be making headlines in 2016. Olga is also the author of The Rooms in My Mother's House (Penguin), which was shortlisted for the Vogel Prize and the NSW Premier's Prize (ethnic division). She has won the Felix Meyer Scholarship and the Percival Serle Bequest at the University of Melbourne for her writing, as well as grants from Arts Victoria and the Australia Council, and a Varuna Fellowship. Olga has taught writing at RMIT University and in a variety of other Melbourne tertiary institutions for nineteen years, and has a Masters and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Melbourne. She previously worked as a journalist and sub-editor for the Melbourne Age.

David Malouf

David Malouf is a poet, fiction writer, librettist and occasional essayist and critic. Since 2000 he has published two volumes of short stories, Dream Stuff and Every Move You Make, two volumes of poetry, Typewriter Music and Earth Hour, a novel, Ransom, and three collections of occasional prose, A First PlaceThe Writing Life, and Being There. He is widely translated and has won several international awards, including the Commonwealth Prize for Fiction and the Prix Femina Etranger (The Great World, 1990) and the LA Times Fiction Prize and the INPAC International Irish Award for Remembering Babylon, 1993. In 2000 he was the sixteenth Neustadt Laureat. He lives in Sydney.

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.

Jan Owen

Jan Owen is a South Australian poet and translator. Her seventh book, The Offhand Angel, was published in London in 2015 by Eyewear Publishing. Her awards include the Mary Gilmore Award, the Wesley Michel Wright Prize, and the Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize. De Kuz, a volume in Dutch, appeared in Azul Press in 2010, and her volume of translations: Charles Baudelaire 'Selected Poems from Les Fleurs du Mal' was published in 2015 by Arc Publications.

Sunil Yapa

Sunil Yapa holds an MFA from Hunter College. The son of a Sri Lankan father and mother from Montana, USA, Yapa has lived in many places around the owrld, including Argentina, China and India, as well as London, Montreal and New York City. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is his first book.

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