Disturbing news this week of the recent Australia Council decision to severely cut the funding of Five Islands Press, the publisher of my last two books, and the most prominent Australian poetry publisher of the time. Hard to fathom that one, and bound to make difficult things more difficult. For the record, this inspired decision comes from the following current board members, three of whom are actually poets!, if that makes sense.
board members (Dr) Peter Goldsworthy (Chair) SA
Peter Goldsworthy was appointed Chair of the Literature Board for a three year term from 4/12/2001. Peter was born in Minlaton, South Australia and grew up in various country towns, finishing his schooling in Darwin. Since graduating in medicine from the University of Adelaide, he has divided his time equally between medicine and writing. His novels have sold more than 250,000 copies in Australia alone and have been translated into most major European and Asian languages. Among his many literary awards are the 1982 Commonwealth Poetry Prize and the Australian Bicentennial Literary Prize for poetry (1988). His novel, Honk if you are Jesus was a Times Literary Supplement International Book of the Year. Other major works include the novel Maestro, the novella, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, four books of short fiction, four poetry collections and libretti for the Richard Mills operas, Batavia and Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.
Judith Beveridge NSW
Resident of Sydney, Judith has been writing poetry since 1974 and is highly respected nationally and internationally. She has published two volumes of poetry, The Domesticity of Giraffes (1987) and Accidental Grace (1996) which have won, between them, the Dame Mary Gilmore Aware, the NSW and Victorian Premiers’ Awards and the Wesley Michel Wright Award. She also co-edited A Parachute of Blue; First Choice of Australian Poets (1995). Judith has conducted numerous workshops and lectured widely on poetry. Her poetry has been translated into many languages.
Andrew Bovell SA
Andrew writes for the stage and screen. His plays have been produced throughout Australia and in England, Ireland, New Zealand and Bulgaria. His numerous stage credits include Who’s Afraid of the Working Class, Confidentially Yours and Distant Lights from Distant Places. He also wrote the screenplay for the highly acclaimed film, Lantana, based on his award-winning play, Speaking in Tongues.
John Emery SA
John was born in Cairns, Queensland and has lived and worked throughout Australia and in New Guinea. He has had four novels published and has also written a number of screenplays, working with directors such as Philip Noyce and Scott Hicks. For the past 20 years, he has worked as a fulltime freelance writer and been actively involved in the development of writing and literature in South Australia. He has served as Chair of Adelaide Writers’ Week and the South Australian Writers’ Centre and also taught literature, film studies and creative writing in all of South Australia’s major tertiary institutions. He currently lives in Adelaide where he lectures part-time in media sociology and literature.
Alan Gould ACT
Alan is a poet, novelist and essayist. He has published ten volumes of poetry, the latest of which is A Fold in the Light (Indigo), six novels, the latest of which is The Schoonermaster’s Dance (Harper Collins) and one collection of essays, The Totem Ship (Duffy & Snellgrove). He has won a number of awards including the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry in 1981, the National Book Council Award for Fiction in 1992, the Royal Blind Society Talking Book of the Year in 1998, the Philip Hodgins Medal and Prize for services to Australian Literature in 1999 and The Courier Mail Book of the Year Award in 2001 for his novel The Schoonermaster’s Dance. His fiction has been published in Britain, USA, France and the Netherlands. He has also been poetry editor for The Canberra Times and the National Library’s Voices literary magazine.
Kate Grenville NSW
Kate is an award-winning fiction writer whose novels include Lilian’s Story, which won the Vogel Australian Award, Dark Places, winner of the Victorian Premier’s Award and The Idea of Perfection, which won the Orange Prize in 2001. Two of her books have been made into successful feature films and all have been published to critical acclaim. She has a Masters degree in Creative Writing and her experience as a teacher of creative writing led to the publication of The Writing Book: a workbook for fiction writers and, most recently, Writing from Start to Finish. She also collaborated with Sue Woolfe on Making Stories: How ten Australian novels were written. Kate lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter.
Glyn Parry WA
Glyn Parry was born in the north east of England and grew up in the town where Billy Elliott was filmed. When he was twelve, his family escaped to sunshine and surf. While best known as a writer of fiction for children and young adults, his short fiction for adults has also been widely published. His ten novels for children and teenagers include LA Postcards which won the 1995 WA Premier’s Prize and was commended in both the Australian Vogel and Children’s Book Council Awards, Monster Man, Radical Take-Offs, Spooking the Cows, Stoked and Scootberboy which won the 1999 WA Premier’s Prize for Young Adult Books. Glyn serves on the State Library Board of WA and the National Advisory Council of the ABC. He is currently writing the memoir of his youth. His dream is to own a cottage by the sea.