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News & Events: July – September 2008 Department of English & Creative Writing

Rachel Hennessy (MA graduate and PhD candidate) was the runner-up for the 2008 The Australian/Vogel award for unpublished manuscripts by writers under 35 years of age for her novel The Heaven I Swallowed.

Sean Williams’ (MA graduate and PhD candidate) new book, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, debuted at #1 on the 7 September New York Times hardcover bestseller list. The book has also been selected as the Big Book Club title for September. Sean spoke in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth with representatives of Krome on the joys of working in the field of computer games. For more information, see http://www.thebigbookclub.com.au/region.php. Also, Sean’s book,The Dust Devils, the sequel to his MA novel, The Changeling, has been published by HarperCollins.

Award-winning novelist Carol LeFevre (MA graduate, PhD candidate) launched her second novel, If You Were Mine(Random House), on 4 September in the Barr Smith Library reading room, the University of Adelaide.

Issue 12 of Wet Ink: the magazine of new writing is now available. As well as the usual mix of fine writing, this issue includes Susan Errington’s interview with Kate Grenville and the winners of the Blake Poetry Prize 2008. Staff, students and alumni of the Creative Writing Program are heavily involved in the production of Wet Ink.

PhD in Creative Writing candidate Miguel Syjuco has been awarded the Grand Prize for a novel in English by the Don Carlo Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the most prestiguous literary awards in the Philippines.

Issue 5 of Etchings (‘The History of …’) is now available. Etchings is published by Ilura Press, which was founded by PhD graduates Sabina Hopfer and Christopher Lappas.

The latest collaboration between the University of Adelaide Creative Writing Program and the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild is Write Oh!, short creative perfomances performed at the University of Adelaide Open Day on Saturday 17 August in the Barr Smith Library Reading Room. Stephen Lawrence’s two pieces are ‘Family Furniture Discounters’ and ‘Powerhouse East Consultants’. John De Laine’s piece is ‘When Bob Gets Here’. All three pieces are directed by Michael Allen, with performances by Tamara Lee, Bart Csorba and Sharon Malujlo.

PhD candidate Kristel Thornell’s ‘Miramare Park’ was published in Southerly (68, 1, 2008).

PhD candidate Miguel Syjuco has been longlisted for the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize for his manuscript, Ilustrado. Peter Gordon, Executive Director of the Man Asian Literary Prize, said, ‘The long list, which contains unpublished works from throughout the region from Japan to Pakistan, demonstrates once again the depth and diversity of Asian contemporary writing.’

The joint winners of the Penny’s Hill/Adelaide Review prize for Food Writing in 2008 (Graduate Certificate in Food Writing) were Hilary Duns and Marianne Robins.

The Creative Writing Program is delighted to welcome Professor Brian Castro as the University of Adelaide’s third Chair of Creative Writing. Brian Castro’s novel, Birds of Passage, was joint winner of the 1982 Vogel Award. Since then he has published seven novels, including Shanghai Dancing (2003) and, most recently, The Garden Book (2005) – both published by Giramondo Publishing. His book of essays, Looking for Estrellita, was published by UQP in 1999. Brian Castro’s forthcoming novel, The Bath Fugues, will be published by Giramondo in 2009.

Congratulations to Malcolm Walker, PhD Graduate and author of The Stone Crown (Walker Books) who received a grant from from Arts SA in March 2008 round (Independent makers and presenters – project grants category) to work on his novel-in-progress, City of Thieves. In other news, The Stone Crown has been chosen by Burnside library for their 2009 “One Book One Burnside” program.

MA Graduate and PhD candidate Rachel Hennessey presented her book The Quakers (Wakefield Press) at the WPDNBook club on 28th August. The WPDN is the University of Adelaide Women’s Professional Development Network.

Visiting writers to the Second Semester seminar program included Sophie Cunningham (author of Bird and editor ofMeanjin), Ouyang Yu (Australian poet, novelist, essayist, literary translator and editor), Marion Campbell (author ofShadow Thief) and Hsu-Ming Teo (author of novels including Behind the Moon and co-author of Cultural History in Australia). The newly arrived Chair of Creative Writing, Professor Brian Castro, and the program’s new Senior Lecturer, poet Jill Jones, also presented seminars.

Wordfire, organised by University of Adelaide Creative Writing students, turned two years old on Monday 4 August. Readers at the celebratory evening of poetry and prose at the Crown and Sceptre Hotel included Brian Castro, Nicola Haywood, Rosemary Jones, Stefan Laszczuk, Ioana Petrescu, Peter Pugsley and Matt Smith.

The Lee Marvin Readings, organised by Ken Bolton (Adelaide poet and PhD Graduate), continued on Tuesdays through August at Gallery de la Catessen, 9 Anster St, Adelaide (off Waymouth at the King William end, near FAD nightclub). Readers in August include Lesley Jorgensen, Ken Bolton, Brian Castro, Cath Kenneally, Patrick Allington, Bern Smith, Anne Bartlett, Naomi Horridge, Jill Jones … and many more.

On 16 August Patrick Allington, PhD graduate and fiction editor of Etchings, was a panelist in the ‘In Conversation with publishers and writers’ session at the Salisbury Writers’ Festival, and led workshops on the craft of short story writing and on tips for getting published.

On 29 August, One Book One Salisbury (the city of Salisbury’s biggest book club) featured Eva Sallis and her novel,The Marsh Birds. Eva Sallis is an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow and was the Creative Writing Program’s inaugural writer-in-residence. The author event will be held at the John Harvey Gallery, Salisbury.

In July, postgraduates helped organise, and participated in, the English and Creative Writing Conference 2008.

Phillip Edmonds (lecturer in Creative Writing), Stefan Laszczuk (PhD Candidate and winner of the Vogel Award) andJulia Leigh (PhD candidate and author of Disquiet), will all be appearing at the Byron Bay Writers Festival, 25-27 July 2008.

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