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Jill Jones wins Victorian Premier's Poetry Prize for 2015

On commenting on The Beautiful Anxiety (Puncher & Wattmann), the judge's report states:

"The Beautiful Anxiety reveals Jill Jones as a leading contemporary stylist who has disciplined her lyric into a rigorous and highly economical poetry of description and response. Her syntax makes tensile use of line and turn and is pared back almost haiku-like in perception and suggestion; to read these poems is like being inside them as they speak unexpected and sometimes fugitive insights of life both intimate and public. There is almost no attention-seeking or ornamental rhetoric in this work, yet it remains distinctly personal and a growing elegiac undertone provides compassion, irony and a self-deprecating resignation."

Jill Jones co-winner of The Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize 2014

The prize, for publication of a fine, limited edition poetry chapbook of work by the winning entrant, is open to all Australian poets – new, emerging and established.

Previous winners of the manuscript prize are Jamie King-Holden (2010), B.R. Dionysius and Jo Langdon (2011), Lucy Todd (2012), and Andy Jackson (2013).

A collection of Jill's work will be published by Whitmore Press in 2015.

Brian Castro Wins 2014 Patrick White Literary Award

Professor Brian Castro has been awarded the 2014 Patrick White Literary Award.

White created the award with the money he received as winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973 to acknowledge writers who have made a significant contribution to Australian literature. White stipulated his prize should be presented on the Friday after the Melbourne Cup to turn attention from sport to literature. Accordingly, Brian Castro received the award in Sydney last Friday for his "outstanding contribution to Australian literature, his continued willingness to take imaginative risks and be 'blackly playful', and his evident potential to produce more significant work".

Other winners have included Christina Stead (1974), Gwen Harwood (1978), Randolph Stow (1979), Thea Astley (1989), Thomas Shapcott (2000) and Louis Nowra (2013).

Traverses: J.M. Coetzee in the World

A series of events were held in Adelaide to honour the winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature, J. M. Coetzee.

Opened by Professor Warren Bebbington, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide, these events included an Opening Night Lecture, Musical performances, plus a reading by J.M. Coetzee, a colloquium featuring world renown scholars on the work of Coetzee, and an exhibiton of Coetzee's manuscripts and artefacts.

'The Beaded Curtain - A Writer's Approach to Hiroshima' - Lloyd Jones

On Friday 24 October 2014, writer Lloyd Jones read from, and discussed, his current work-in-progress.

Lloyd Jones is a Visiting Fellow at the J.M. Coetzee Centre and is the Centre's first Writer In Residence.

His novels include Mister Pip, winner of the 2007 Commonwealth Prize, Hand me down world, shortlisted for the 2013 International Berlin Prize. His most recent title is a memoir A History of Silence. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in literature from Victoria University of Wellington.

'The Novel as Collage' by Carrie Tiffany

On Friday 10 October 2014, Carrie Tiffany discuseds migration, art and the intertextual in her fiction.

Her first novel, Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living (2006) was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Victorian Premier's Literary Award, the Orange Prize for Fiction (UK), the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, the Guardian First Book Award (UK) and was the winner of the Western Australian Premier's Fiction Prize and the Dobbie Award.

Her second novel, Mateship with Birds (2012) was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Fiction Prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Melbourne Prize for Fiction. In 2013 Mateship with Birds was the winner of the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the inaugural Stella Prize.

Tim Gaze

Tim Gaze

'Visually Enhanced Literature' with Tim Gaze

On Friday 12 September 2014, Tim Gaze spoke about an array of non-verbal visual techniques used in fiction, giving examples ranging from Laurence Sterne, through a number of 20th century experiments, to the abstract comics of the present times. The majority of these examples were created by a single author, rather than an artist or graphic designer collaborating with an author.

Although he has little skill as an illustrator and has an unorthodox style of handwriting, Gaze has developed visual techniques which he can control with a subtlety comparable to the ability to compose a tidy sentence of words.

Ideas from cultural movements such as Lettrisme and the Brazilian Process/Poem, and aesthetics from Asian brush calligraphy traditions, can be applied to fiction.

Even though many visual techniques are enhancements to a verbal narrative, some techniques completely derail any linearity, resulting in a situation similar to ambient music.

According to W. J. T. Mitchell, Western culture is undergoing a pictorial turn. The majority of published fiction does not yet reflect this. It's time to get cracking!

Gaze's abstract graphic novel 100 Scenes (Transgressor, 2010/Asemic Editions, 2011) has received positive attention in several parts of the world. In 2013, he co-edited An Anthology of Asemic Handwriting (Uitgeverij, Netherlands), as well as overseeing the highly experimental collaborative graphic novel A Kick in the Eye ( His articles and non-academic essays have been published in translation as far afield as Zeszyty Komiksowe (Poznań, Poland, 2014), revue Toth (Orléans, France, 2009) and Confraria do Vento (on-line, Brazil, 2006). His visual poetry is in The Last Vispo anthology (Fantagraphics, USA, 2012) and an abstract comics sequence in Abstract Comics: The Anthology (Fantagraphics, 2009). Participation in group exhibitions has included räume für notizen (Galerie Wechsel-strom, Vienna, 2014) and Silent Pictures (James Gallery, CUNY, New York, 2009). Michael Farrell's review of noology (Arrum Press, Finland, 2008) in Jacket compared him to John Cage. His publishing projects include the experimental small press Asemic Editions. In addition to all of these activities, Tim is an experienced performer of spoken word, recently turning his hand (or should that be mouth) to sound poetry.

Queen's Birthday Honours - Professor Graeme Koehne appointed Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

9 June 2014

Professor Graeme Koehne, for distinguished service to the performing arts as a composer of chamber, concert and ballet music, and through substantial contributions as an educator and arts administrator, has been appointed as Officers (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.


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