Selected Student Publications

These are some of the books published by Writing and Society research students. Some of these titles were published from PhD theses and creative works produced in our DCA program, while others have been written and published by our students independently.

Ghostspeaking by Peter Boyle CoverPeter 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)

Cormac McCarthy Borders and Landscapes book coverLou Jillet (editor), Cormac McCarthy's Borders and Landscapes, Published by Bloomsbury, 2016

Cormac McCarthy's work is attracting an increasing number of scholars and critics from a range of disciplines within the humanities and beyond, from political philosophy to linguistics and from musicology to various branches of the sciences. Cormac McCarthy's Borders and Landscapes contributes to this developing field of research, investigating the way McCarthy's writings speak to other works within the broader fields of American literature, international literature, border literature, and other forms of comparative literature. »Read More (opens in a new window)

A Chinese Affair by Isabelle LiIsabelle 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 Stick Vision book coverLuke 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)

Small Acts of Dissapearance Fiona Wright book coverFiona 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)

Battarbee and Namatjira CoverMartin Edmond, Battarbee and Namatjira, published by Girammondo, 2014

Battarbee and Namatjira is the double biography of artists Rex Battarbee and Albert Namatjira, one white Australian from Warrnambool in Victoria, the other Aboriginal, of the Arrernte people, from the Hermannsburg Mission west of Alice Springs. From their first encounters in the early 1930s, when Battarbee introduced Namatjira to the techniques of watercolour painting, through the period of Namatjira's extraordinary popularity as a painter, to his tragic death in 1959, their close relationship was to have a decisive impact on Australian art.  »Read More(opens in a new window)

The Tribe book coverMichael Mohammed Ahmad, The Tribe, published by Giramondo, 2014

For the last two decades the representation of Arab-Australian Muslims has been coloured by media reports of sexual assault, drug-dealing, drive-by shootings and terrorist conspiracy. This has made it difficult to understand a community which plays an important role in contemporary Australian society.Here, in his first work of fiction, Michael Mohammed Ahmad offers a privileged introduction to the life and customs of 'The Tribe'.

Luke Carman Book CoverLuke Carman, An Elegant Young Man, published by Giramondo, 2013

For a long time Western Sydney has been the political flash-point of the nation, but it has been absent from Australian literature. Luke Carman's first book of fiction is about to change all that: a collection of monologues and stories which tells it how it is on Australia's cultural frontier. His young, self-conscious but determined hero navigates his way through the complications of his divorced family, and an often perilous social world. »Read More (opens in a new window)

The Incredible Here and Now Book CoverFelicity Castagna, The Incredible Here and Now, published by Giramondo, 2013

Michael's older brother dies at the beginning of the summer he turns 15, but as its title suggests The Incredible Here and Now is a tale of wonder, not of tragedy. Presented as a series of vignettes, it tells of Michael's coming of age in a year which brings him grief and romance; and of the place he lives in Western Sydney where 'those who don't know any better drive through the neighbourhood and lock their car doors', and those who do, flourish in its mix of cultures. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Ephemeral Waters coverKate Middleton, Ephemeral Waters, published by Giramondo, 2013

In following the course of the Colorado River, Ephemeral Waters incorporates fragments drawn from historical documents, films, interviews and personal conversations, with sharply defined observations of its natural and man-made environments. These are carried along by Middleton's flexible command of rhythm, which responds to both the vitality of the Colorado River and its degradation, and to the exaltation, enjoyment and despair of those who live by it. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Samuel Beckett and the Encounter of Philosophy and literature Book CoverArka Chattopadhyay (co-editor), Samuel Beckett and the Encounter of Philosophy and literature, published by Roman Books, 2013

How does philosophy think? How does Beckett's literature think? Are they different, same or both? Samuel Beckett and the Encounter of Philosophy and Literature is an assortment of critical investigations re-reading the complex encounter between Beckett's works and the discourse of philosophy. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Chasing the light coverJesse Blackadder, Chasing the Light, published by Harper Collins, 2013

A fictional recounting of the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, and her extraordinary fight to get there. It′s the early 1930s. Antarctic open-sea whaling is booming and a territorial race for the mysterious continent between Norwegian and British-Australian interests is in full swing. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Hannah and Emil CoverBelinda Castles, Hannah & Emil, Allen & Unwin, 2012

Emil and Hannah live their lives amid the turmoil of twentieth-century history. Emil, a German veteran of the Great War, has returned home to a disturbed nation. As inflation and unemployment edge the country near collapse, Emil's involvement with the resistance ultimately forces him from his family and his home. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Claire Corbett When we have wings book coverClaire Corbett, When We Have Wings, Allan & Unwin, 2011

In a world divided into fliers and non-fliers, how far would you go to be able to fly? How much would you sacrifice - perhaps your own child? A beautifully written and compellingly original novel of sacrifice, betrayal and love. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Knuckled CoverFiona Wright, Knuckled, Published by Giramondo, 2011

The poems in Knuckled are themselves bony and assertive, stripped down to the detail, which appeals in its physical quality and the manner in which it is offered, as much as in its compression of feeling. There is a strong sense of the social in Wright's focus and selection: her details embody attitudes, prejudices, anxieties, identifications; they evoke the histories and mythologies embedded in family lore; and they carry an awareness of belonging in place. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Christopher Kremmer The Chase Book CoverChristopher Kremmer The Chase, published by Picador, 2011

When young scientist Jean Campbell is invited to help root out drugs in sport, she enters a murky world where power, privilege, money and illicit practices mix easily. It is Australia in the 1940s, the war is over, and Jean and her charismatic boss Howard Carter risk everything to expose the cruel underbelly of the 'sport of kings'. But old-school racehorse trainer Martin Foley refuses to go quietly, and his influence and 'connections' go straight to the highest echelons of polite society. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Jesse Blackadder Raven's Heart Book CoverJesse Blackadder Raven's Heart, published by Harper Collins, 2011

A ship carries Mary, the young Queen of Scots, home from the French court to wrest back control of her throne. Masquerading as a male crew member, Alison Blackadder must find a way to gain the Queen′s favour so she can win back her family′s castle and lands, cruelly stolen by a murderous clan a generation before. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Martin Edmond Dark Night Walking with McCahonMartin Edmond Dark Night Walking with McCahon,published by Auckland University Press, September 2011

In 1984, Colin McCahon went missing for 24 hours in Sydney. Found the next morning, kilometres from where he started, he had no memory of who he was or where he had been. In this work of creative non-fiction, Martin Edmond traces McCahon's potential footsteps, past pubs and monuments, art galleries and churches, barracks and parks: to accompany him some way into the darkness of his end. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Felicity Castagna Small Indiscretions Book CoverFelicity Castagna Small Indiscretions, published by Transit Lounge, August 2011

Castagna's twenty stories range across countries including Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and China, deftly exploring the relationships of parents and children, lovers and enemies, the transient and the resident. In the spirit of the best travel literature, Castagna's fiction powerfully captures the landscapes and cultures of Asia and the intriguing interactions of Westerners with it. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Pip Smith The Penguin Plays Rough Book CoverThe Penguin Plays Rough Book of Short Stories, edited by Pip Smith, launched at the Sydney Writer's Festival, 2011

A beautifully produced collection of stories drawn from monthly readings at Penguin Plays Rough, which Pip established in 2008 to showcase the work of emerging and established writers. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Kristel Thornell Night Street Book CoverKristel Thornell Night Street, published by Allen & Unwin, 2010

Night Street is the passionate story of a young painter, Clarice Beckett, who defies society's strict conventions and indifferent art critics alike and leads an intense private and professional life. With her extraordinary talent for making simple city and seascapes haunting and mysteriously revelatory, Clarice paints prolifically and lives largely, overcoming the seemingly confined existence as the spinster daughter in the parental home. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Walter Mason Destination Saigon Book CoverWalter Mason Destination Saigon, published by Allen & Unwin, 2010

From the crazy heat and colour of Saigon to the quieter splendour of Hanoi, Walter Mason gives us a rare, joyous and at times hilarious insight into twenty-first century Vietnam. Seduced by the beauty and charm of its people, and the sensuousness of its culture, we can almost taste the little coconut cakes cooked over a fire in a smoky Can Tho kitchen. »Read More (opens in a new window)

In the Company of Rilke Book CoverStephanie Dowrick In the Company of Rilke, published by Allen & Unwin, 2009

Stephanie Dowrick invites us into the transcendent and piercingly beautiful world of the much-loved early 20th century European poet, Rainer Maria Rilke and reveals how through his poetry we can connect with our inner life. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Matthew Thomson My Columbian Death Book CoverMatthew Thomson My Columbian Death Book, published by Pan Macmillan, 2008

Kidnappings, car bombs, cocaine, paramilitaries, bullfights, the Amazon and madness. Welcome to Colombia, where life is cheap and so are the drugs. In 2006, Matt Thompson travelled to Colombia in search of the life he might have led. Born to American parents, Matt's father was offered a post which would have taken the family to Bogota, but he turned it down because it was too high risk. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Coach Fitz book cover

Tom Lee, Coach Fitz, Published by Giramondo, 2018

Tom, a young man struggling to forge some sense from his experiences, employs the services of an older woman as his running coach. A former psychoanalyst, Coach Fitz’s methods combine fitness training with an intense curiosity about the spirit of the places through which they travel. Enthusiastic and perceptive yet plagued by self-consciousness, Tom finds himself at once fascinated and troubled by his mentor’s peculiar ideas. As they follow an eccentric course across parklands, streets and beaches, a conversation unfolds about the athletic body, architectural style and especially the emergence from adolescence into adulthood. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Creation and the Function of Art by Jason Tuckwel

Jason Tuckwell, Creation and the Function of Art, published by Bloomsbury, 2017

Returning to the Greek understanding of art to rethink its capacities, Creation and the Function of Art focuses on the relationship between techné and phusis (nature). Moving away from the theoretical Platonism which dominates contemporary understandings of art, this book instead reinvigorates Aristotelian causation. Beginning with the Greek topos and turning to insights from philosophy, pure mathematics, psychoanalysis and biology, Jason Tuckwell re-problematises techné in functional terms. »Read More (opens in a new window)

No More Boats

Felicity Castagna, No More Boats, published by Giramondo, 2017

It is 2001. 438 refugees sit in a boat called Tampa off the shoreline of Australia, while the TV and radio scream out that the country is being flooded, inundated, overrun by migrants. Antonio Martone, once a migrant himself, has been forced to retire, his wife has moved in with the woman next door, his daughter runs off with strange men, his deadbeat son is hiding in the garden smoking marijuana. Amid his growing paranoia, the ghost of his dead friend shows up and commands him to paint ‘No More Boats’ in giant letters across his front yard. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Passage book cover

Kate Middleton, Passage, published by Giramondo, 2017

Kate Middleton’s third poetry collection continues her preoccupation with terrestrial and other landscapes, both real and imagined. The poems haunt, and are haunted by, the legacies of literature and history: whether inhabiting the scientific laboratory, the exploratory voyage, the layered history of landscape, or the voices of past authors, they are interested in the border-zones of understanding, in both the ‘the riddle of untrodden land’ and the buried history of lost empires. Formally, the poems move between traditional lyric and collage-style forms of quotation and erasure. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Domestic Interior book cover

Fiona Wright, Domestic Interior, published by Giramondo, 2017

Many of the poems in Domestic Interior were written around the same time as Fiona Wright’s award-winning collection of essays Small Acts of Disappearance, and they share with that work her acute sensitivity to the details that build our everyday world, and hold us in thrall, in highly charged moments of emotional extremity. Anxiety lurks in domestic spaces, it inhabits the most ordinary objects, like a drill bit or a phone charger, it draws our attention to the bruised body and its projecting parts.The elements of language take on new intensity in a series of ‘overheard’ poems fraught with their speakers’ vulnerability and their attempts at resolution. »Read More (opens in a new window)

The Lebs

Michael Mohammed Ahmad, The Lebs, published by Hatchette, 2017

Bani Adam thinks he's better than us!' they say over and over until finally I shout back, 'Shut up, I have something to say!'They all go quiet and wait for me to explain myself, redeem myself, pull my shirt out, rejoin the pack. I hold their anticipation for three seconds, and then, while they're all ablaze, I say out loud, 'I do think I'm better.' As far as Bani Adam is concerned Punchbowl Boys is the arse end of the earth. Though he's a Leb and they control the school, Bani feels at odds with the other students, who just don't seem to care. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Colour of Things Unseen CoverAnnee Lawrence, The Colour of Things Unseen, Aurora Metro Books, 2019

When Adi leaves his village in Indonesia to take up an art scholarship in Australia, he arrives in the bewildering Sydney art world, determined to succeed.  Following his first solo exhibition at a smart art gallery, Adi dares to reveal his true feelings for his outgoing friend, Lisa, and a passionate relationship unfolds. But will their differing expectations of one another drive them apart?

This is a deeply felt love story between people — of different nations, cultures and religions – and the unseen impact of local and global events on individual lives. Read more (opens in a new window)

Panthers and the Museum of Fire CoverJen Craig, Panthers and the Museum of Fire, Spineless Wonders, 2018

Panthers and the Museum of Fire is a novella about walking, memory and writing. The narrator walks from Glebe to a central Sydney café to return a manuscript by a recently-dead writer. While she walks, the reader enters the narrator's entire world: life with family and neighbours, narrow misses with cars, her singular friendships, dinner conversations and work. We learn of her adolescent desire for maturity and acceptance through a brush with religion, her anorexia, the exercise of that power when she was powerless in every other aspect of her life. Read more (opens in a new window)

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Student Publishing

Congratulations to Writing and Society post-grad student Fiona Wright who was award the 2016 Kibble Award for her book Small Acts of Disappearance.