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News & Events: January – June 2009 Department of English & Creative Writing

On Monday 15th June, Wordfire returns with a Bloomsday Eve celebration of Irish Literature and Music. Music from 7pm onwards, first readings at 7.30pm, at the Crown and Sceptre Hotel, King William Street. Gold coin donation gets you in the door for a fantastic night of words and music. Based around the European tradition of the literary salon, Wordfire is a series of literary events organised by postgraduate creative writing students at the University of Adelaide.

The Creative Writing Program is again collaborating with the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild: First Time Out is an experimental writing and theatre project that explores the space between a piece of writing and its interpretation. Altered States of Consciousness is a selection of writings by current and former students in the Creative Writing Program. Most were not written for the theatre. The production explores the essence of those writings to find a meaning in them that transcends the page and lives on the stage. Altered States of Consciousness features adapted work by Henry Ashley-Brown, Naomi Horridge, Stephen Lawrence, Amy Matthews, Heather TaylorJohnson, Prithvi Varatharajan and Sean Williams. The season runs 18-20 June at 7.30pm at the Little Theatre. See the Theatre Guild webpage for full details.

The Bath Fugues, Professor Brian Castro‘s new book of three interlinked novellas (Giramondo Publishing) was launched by Katharine England on Friday 5 June in the Barr Smith Library Reading Room, the University of Adelaide The Bath Fugues is a meditation on melancholy and art, in the form of three interwoven novellas, centred respectively on an aging art forger; a Portuguese poet, opium addict and art collector; and a doctor, who has built an art gallery in tropical Queensland. These characters are tied by more than their art, each dealing with questions of deception and discovery, counterfeiting and rewriting, transmission and identity and each stretching the bonds of trust and friendship.

Moya Costello had ‘Of Lemon Tarts: Writing, Culture, Neo-conversatism’ published in Outskirts devoted to fictocriticism. It’s available to read online at the Outskirts webpage.

Kimberley Mann’s book of poetry, Awake During Anaesthetic, is published by the Australian Poetry Centre in the New Poets series. Thomas Shapcott writes, “The poems tingle with life and a wonderfully sensuous delight in word and image. I was ready to follow Kimberley in whatever journey she undertook in this haunting collection, whether to a childhood in Java on her father’s back or into the haunted wasteland of the dispossessed and alienated.”

The seminar program for Semester 1 2009 has now concluded. Visiting seminar presenters included poet John Mateer, publisher and academic Ivor Indyk, novelist Steve Conte, novelist and writer-in-resident Susanna Moore, academic and biographer Jill Roe, and writer and publisher Michael Wilding.

The Creative Writing Program and the University community is delighted to welcome Susanna Moore as our writer-in-residence. Susanna Moore’s earliest three novels made up a Hawaiian trilogy – the first book, My Old Sweetheart, published in 1983, won the PEN Hemingway Citation and the Prize for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has written a memoir of her childhood in Hawaii; a commonplace book about the sea; a novel, In the Cut, about a murder in New York (made into a film directed by Jane Campion); and a novel set in 19thcentury India. Her most recent novel, The Big Girls, takes place in a woman’s prison. Susanna Moore was awarded a prize for Literary Achievement by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1999. She has been teaching Creative Writing since 1988, most recently at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. She presented the Discipline of English seminar on Friday 15 May.

The Adelaide Review, in association with the Creative Writing Program, is proud to announce the first Annual Short Fiction Competition. This annual competition aims to encourage the art of short fiction writing, to set new standards in contemporary short fiction and to be one of Australia’s most prestigious writing awards. The competition features an international judging panel consisting of prize-winning Australian author and Chair of the Creative Writing Program, Brian Castro, Noel Laureate J.M. Coetzee and Jamaican poet and short story writer Oliver Senior. Entry forms and full terms and conditions are available from the Adelaide Review. The Creative Writing Program is delighted to be beginning a fruitful new collaboration with the Adelaide Review.

Congratulations to Stefan Laszczuk, whose has passed his PhD in Creative Writing. Stefan is prize-winning author of I Dream of Magda (the Vogel) and The Goddamn Bus of Happiness (Adelaide Festival of Literature Award).

Small City Tales of Strangeness and Beauty, edited by Gillian Britton and Stephen Lawrence, was launched by Greg Mackie OAM (Executive Director of Arts SA and member of the University of Adelaide Creative Writing Advisory Board) on Thursday 9 April, at the SA Writers’ Centre, 2nd floor, 187 Rundle Street, Adelaide.

Patrick Allington, PhD alumni, has been appointed for two years to the Peer Review Panel of Arts SA, Literature.

Issue 14 of Wet Ink: the magazine of new writing is now available. Along with the usual mix of fine and entertaining writing, Wet Ink 14 features a short story by Reg Taylor, a personal essay by Tom Burton, Phillip Edmond’s interview with Matthew Condon, and Stephanie Wang’s winning essay in the Wet Ink/Adelaide PEN ‘Caging the Pen (Censorship in Australia)’ competition.

The Creative Writing Program is delighted to announce that The University of Adelaide is now the host institution for the Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership (APWP), which is an international collaboration of universities, literary organizations and individual writers, scholars, and others interested in researching, supporting or otherwise promoting new writing from or about Asia and the Pacific.

Etchings 6: the Ethical Issue is out now. Edited by PhD alumni Sabina Hopfer, Christopher Lappas and Patrick Allington, this issue of Etchings features the usual vibrant mix of short fiction, poetry, essays, photography and art. Highlights include short stories by Discipline of English PhD candidate Shannon Burns and former Chair of Creative Writing, Thomas Shapcott, as well as Christopher Lappas’s thought-provoking editorial on the apology to the stolen generations.

A short story by Sean Williams, ‘A longing for the dark’, is available as a podcast on Terra Incognita. ‘A longing for the dark’ is unpublished in hard copy format, was the basis for sections of Sean’s novel, Geodesica: Descent (HarperCollins).

PhD candidates Gillian Britton and Stephen Lawrence have edited Small City Tales of Strangeness and Beauty (Wakefield Press), a vibrant collection of fiction, poems and images about Adelaide. Many past and present University of Adelaide students and staff are represented in the anthology. In his foreword, Brian Castro writes that in these stories, poems and photographs, Adelaide’s ‘mornings swirl with readdressed mail and untended gardens, its afternoons seethe with melting bitumen and its nights crackle with heat, breakdown, the attrition of marriages. The city disgorges stories in the way waste yields coloured glass, not as a collector’s item but as something being halted from passing out of memory.’

PhD candidate Stephanie Hester is involved in organising the Confucius Institute’s Chinese/Australian Cross-cultural Student Theatre Project, Tales of the Global City. The Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide is presenting a unique project aiming to put Australian students in touch with Chinese culture, and Chinese international students in Australia in touch with Australian culture. The project will involve a series of writing and acting workshops which will culminate in a production to be staged in early October 2009. The Confucius Institute is inviting interested students at the University of Adelaide to an information night at 5.30pm, Tuesday March 10. For more information see the Confucius Institute news page.

Sean Williams, via publishers Pyr, has made his novel, The Crooked Letter (Books of the Cataclysm: One) available in full as a free download. The Crooked Letter is a prequel to The Changeling (Sean’s MA thesis published by HarperCollins). Margaret Fensom (Dingle) launched her E-book (CD Rom) Trains – prose interspersed with poems and photographs – at the SA Writers’ Centre, Rundle St, Adelaide, on Thursday 19 February. Sean Williams featured in the 2008 Aurealis Award shortlists. His anthology Magic Dirt: the best of Sean Williams (Ticonderoga Publications, edited by Russell B. Farr) won the award for ‘Best Collection’. His novel The Changeling (Sean’s MA project, now published by HarperCollins) was shortlisted in the children’s long fiction division, alongside the sequel, The Dust Devils. The Changeling has also been shortlisted in the young adult novel division, while his novel Earth Ascendant was shortlisted in the science fiction novel division. The Aurealis Awards were established in 1995 by Chimaera Publications, the publishers of Aurealis Magazine, to recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

Miguel Syjuco was interviewed by Emma-Kate Symons in the Weekend Australian (January 17-18). Miguel’s award-winning manuscript Ilustrado will be published by Random House in Australia, Farrar Straus & Giroux (U.S), Picador (U.K.), Hamish Hamilton (Canada), University of the Philippines Press in the Philippines (Tagalog and English), Editions Christian Bourgois in France, Tusquets Editoriales in Spain, Fazi in Italy, Mouria in the Netherlands, Natur ochs Kultur in Sweden, Geopoetika in Serbia, and Companhia das Letras in Brazil.

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