Recent Writings

A selection of recent public writings by our academic staff and students…

And the Winner Isn’t: on the inherent stupidity of literary prizes: Emmett Stinson in Overland. ‘Prizes still represent a top-down manner of assessing literary merit. They are mostly beneficially to the ‘book industry’, which is to say booksellers and some publishers, but they don’t do much for literary culture, however one conceives of it.’ Read more >>

The Party: Indigo Perry in Southerly‘The Party’ explores a violent incident that took place at a party on an isolated farm in Victoria’s Mallee region in the 1980s. It forms part of a larger creative work in which Indigo experiments with ways of re-imagining trauma in memoir, especially focusing on creative methods of resilience that might become parts of identity in relation to trauma. [Content warning: sexual violence, rape.] Read more >>


Pike Position: Indigo Perry in Verity La. ‘Pike Position’ is part of a series of fragmentary third-person memoir pieces about Indigo’s experiences of living in a brutal culture of toxic masculinity, in small-town Victoria in the 1980s. “In this series I’m trying to witness my adolescent self, as it seems important to let her know I remember all that happened,” says Indigo. Read more >>

Whose Byline is it Anyway? In the wake of The Saturday Paper’s controversial experiment with pseudonymous book reviews, what have we learned? Staff member Emmett Stinson writes for the Kill Your Darlings blog: “It is mildly amazing – perhaps even gobsmacking – that The Saturday Paper went down the road of pseudonymy to begin with.” Read more >>

Guide to the Classics: The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran: ‘After Shakespeare and the Chinese poet Laozi, Gibran’s 1923 work, The Prophet, has made him the third most-sold poet of all time…’ Read faculty member Antonia Pont’s recent piece for The Conversation >>

In the Grip of Melbourne: Revisiting Monkey Grip. In an essay for Overland, staff member Emily Potter and Kirsten Seale (UNSW) revisit Helen Garner’s classic Melbourne novel Monkey Grip: ‘Certainly, it is a novel absolutely grounded in and shaped by place…’ Read more >>

A Woman Walks Alone at Night: “I’ll take any opportunity to cross a park. I love a sports field at night. If the lights are on but no one is playing, it’s a vast glowing nothingness: smooth, ready and waiting. If it’s dark, there’s an air of melancholia, nostalgia…” Read Briohny Doyle’s recent article for The Monthly >>

To Know Place. Read poet Cassandra Atherton’s guest post on Lee Kofman’s blog: ‘I am a terrible traveller: I get motion sickness, I’m a germophobe, I always pack too much stuff, I melt down when I can’t get wifi and I lose things at inopportune moments. So, I’ve often asked myself whether I have to travel to a place to be able to write about it convincingly…’ Read more >>

What I’m Reading. Staff member Emmett Stinson, writing for the Meanjin blog: “After a month or so of silent suffering, I confessed these fears to my partner, whose response was swift: ‘I’ve watched you and you are holding books too close to your face. Get your eyes checked: you need glasses.’ Now bespectacled, I find my love of reading undiminished…” Read more >>

Micro-Memoir: The Butcher in the Moonlight + Bull’s Eyes. Read two new pieces by staff member Indigo Perry, in the journal Verity La: ‘It’s that time, long after midnight, long before morning, when it’s hard to wake the ones who sleep. Her little sister is rolled into a tight ball in her cot. Her brother won’t answer if she whispers across the passageway…’ Read more >>

Dual Identity: ‘I had to ask myself a hard question: was I, by publishing fiction under the same name I used for my scholarship, materially damaging my chances of getting an academic job?’ Faculty member Jodi McAlister‘s recent piece for NiTRO about living a dual life, publishing scholarly work and commercial fiction under the same name. Read more >>

The Remarkable, Prize-winning Rise of Small Publishers: ‘It has been a big 12 months for Australian small publishers, who have swept what are arguably the three most important national literary awards…’ Faculty member Emmett Stinson‘s recent essay for The Conversation. Read more >>

Brown Birds in a Brown Landscape: ‘Migratory shorebirds are considered our most endangered group of birds. Described as ‘brown birds in a brown landscape’, they are notoriously difficult to identify and adept at remaining hidden…’ An engaging piece by PhD student Rachel Fetherston on how art can help protect “invisible” species (artwork: Sarah Mitchell).  Read more >>

Does Geelong have its own poetics? ‘Cats pace the trench-like gutters of the roof spaces of the townhouse block…and passersby offer plenty of ‘found’ poetry, audible from the street.’ In this lovely essay for Cordite Poetry Journal, sessional staff members Jo Langdon and Cameron Lowe chart the city’s poetic undercurrents.  Read more >>

Words and Spills: Disability, Sexuality and Cripping your Poetry: on ‘writing crip’, embodied experience, and the politics of daft love poetry. Check out librarian and Deakin graduate student Kit Kavanagh-Ryan’s thought-provoking essay for Cordite Poetry Review. Read more >>

Tim Winton’s Answer to Toxic Masculinity: God? Writing for The Conversation, Professor Lyn McCredden explores the redemptive role of faith in Tim Winton’s latest novel, The Shepherd’s Hut: ‘What lies beneath Winton’s returning again and again to feckless, hurt, sometimes violent and abusive, self-loathing male characters?’  Read more >>

Breaking Down the Barriers: Love and Walls Breaking Down the Barriers: Love & Walls. On Valentine’s Day 2018, Dr Jodi McAlister reflects on the role of walls and emotions in the romance genre: ‘A genre largely written by and for women, the modern romance novel centres on the emotional inner life of its characters, especially its female characters…’   Read more >>

Feasting: a succulent slice of short fiction co-authored by Dr Cassandra Atherton (with Dr Paul Hetherington, University of Canberra), for Axon journal… ‘She remembered watching him stroke the fine hair on the nape of Annabelle’s neck, promising he’d get her back to school by recess. She knew that up close, Annabelle smelt like fairy floss…’  Read more >>

Emily Potter - Socially GroundedSocially Grounded: architects Croxon Ramsay. Dr Emily Potter investigates the place-making practices of this dynamic architectural duo (image: Diana Snape). “Design is world making. It can transform how people think and live…” Read more >>

Sue Chen - Animals publicationWhere are the Koalas? Dr Sue Chen, National Library of Australia Fellow 2017, takes a look at how Australia’s native critters were represented in Late-Qing Chinese children’s texts. “After China’s defeat in the two Opium Wars, the number of travellers to the “Celestial Empire” increased dramatically, particularly after the 1860s… Read more >>