Writing and Society Research Centre members and postgraduate students are actively engaged with both literary and academic publishing. We are also behind a number of important publishing initiatives.
The Sydney Review of Books
Sparked by concerns about the dwindling space for literary criticism in Australian media, the Sydney Review of Books (opens in a new window) is an online review site focusing on Australian writers and writing.
The Writing and Society Research Centre houses the prestigious Giramondo book imprint (opens in a new window) which publishes some of the most significant contemporary Australian authors.
soundsRite (opens in a new window) is a joint initiative of the MARCS Institute and the Writing and Society Research Centre. It is online and open access journal that publishes selected new media work which includes words and sound. It is co-edited by Prof. Hazel Smith (Writing and Society Research Centre) and Prof. Roger Dean (MARCS Auditory Laboratories). »Read More
The Journal of Beckett Studies
The Writing and Society Research Centre also produces the Journal of Beckett Studies, with Centre Director Prof. Anthony Uhlmann acting as its chief editor.
Recent Staff Publications
Hazel Smith, The Contemporary Literature-Music Relationship, published by Routledge, 2016
This book explores the relationship between words and music in contemporary texts, examining, in particular, the way that new technologies are changing the literature-music relationship. It brings an eclectic and novel range of interdisciplinary theories to the area of musico-literary studies, drawing from the fields of semiotics, disability studies, musicology, psychoanalysis, music psychology, emotion and affect theory, new media, cosmopolitanism, globalization, ethnicity and biraciality. Smith also inspects the dynamics of improvisation and composition, and the different ways they intersect with performance. »Read More (opens in a new window)
Hazel Smith, Word Migrants, published by Giramondo, 2016
Hazel Smith's new poetry collection engages in a direct way with contemporary political and social issues – civil war and the flight of populations, oppressive regimes and the disappearance of dissidents, the unpredictable effects of climate change – relating these issues to the personal experience of death and dementia, abuse and disability and childlessness. The poems project intense psychological states of indecisiveness, anxiety, disorientation and guilt, making use of surreal conjunctions and metaphor to dramatise the sense of unease. »Read More (opens in a new window)
Gail Jones, A Guide to Berlin, published by Random House, 2015
A group of six international travellers, two Italians, two Japanese, an American and an Australian, meet in empty apartments in Berlin to share stories and memories. Each is enthralled in some way to the work of Vladimir Nabokov, and each is finding their way in deep winter in a haunted city. A moment of devastating violence shatters the group, and changes the direction of everyone's story. »Read More (opens in a new window)
Recent Student Publications
Peter Boyle, Ghostspeaking, Vagabond Press, 2016
Eleven fictive poets from Latin America, France and Québec. Their poems, interviews, biographies and letters weave images of diverse lives and poetics. In the tradition of Fernando Pessoa, Boyle presents an array of at times humorous, at times tormented heteronymous poets. In their varied voices and styles, writing as they do across the span of the 20th Century and into the 21st , these haunted and haunting figures offer one of poetry's oldest gifts – to sing beauty in the face of death. In all this Boyle, their fictive translator, is deeply enmeshed. »Read More (opens in a new window)
Lou Jillet (editor), Cormac McCarthy's Borders and Landscapes, Published by Bloomsbury, 2016
Isabelle Li, A Chinese Affair, published by Margaret River Press, 2016
These sixteen stories present characters who share much, yet are all unique. As if in a kaleidoscope, they continue to be revealed and reinterpreted in different lights and from different angles. Isabelle Li's prose is powerful, exquisite and finely tuned, and each story draws us deeper into the complex emotional and cultural dilemmas of characters who are solitary, sensitive, perceptive and powerless, sometimes all at once. A Chinese Affair is a beautiful book, elegant and accomplished, and a triumph of the art of the short story. »Read More(opens in a new window)
Luke Beesley, Jam Sticky Vision, published by Giramondo 2015
Jam Sticky Vision is the successor to Luke Beesley's highly-regarded third book of poetry, New Works on Paper, published by Giramondo in 2013. The poems in this collection blend observation, memory and anecdote – with particular interest in American film, rock music, visual arts and poetry, and the way they inhabit the poet's everyday life in contemporary Melbourne. They create 'an uncanny universe', which hovers somewhere between the real world and that of the poet's imagination, characterised by surprising encounters and fleeting details rendered with the utmost clarity... »Read More(opens in a new window)
Fiona Wright, Small Acts of Disappearance, published by Giramondo 2015
Small Acts of Disappearance describes the author's affliction with an eating disorder which begins in university, and escalates into life-threatening anorexia over the next ten years. Fiona Wright is a highly regarded poet and critic, and her account of her illness is informed by a keen sense of its contradictions and deceptions, and by an awareness of the empowering effects of hunger, which is unsparing in its consideration of the author's motives and actions. »Read More(opens in a new window)
Future Directions in Publishing
A key area of interest for Writing and Society going forward is digital publishing in its various forms and the ongoing changes in the ways writing is now disseminated. This is reflected in the publishing strategies adopted by Writing and Society. The Sydney Review of Books is an online review site with ever expanding readership, soundsRite already offers cutting edge digital publication.
We are very grateful to the following organisations for their funding and support: the Literature Board of the Australia Council (Giramondo, The Sydney Review of Books), Arts NSW (The Sydney Review of Books, Western Sydney Writing Project) and The Copyright Agency (The Sydney Review of Books).