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 Cover
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)

Cormac McCarthy Borders and Landscapes book cover
Lou 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 Li
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 Stick Vision book cover
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)

Small Acts of Dissapearance Fiona Wright book cover


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)

Battarbee and Namatjira Cover
Martin 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 cover
Michael 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 Cover Luke 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 Cover 

Arka 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 cover 

Jesse 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 Cover 

Belinda 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 cover 

Claire 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 Cover 

Fiona 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 Cover 

Christopher 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 Cover 

Jesse 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 McCahon 

Martin 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 Cover 

Felicity 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 Cover 

The 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 Cover 

Kristel 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 Cover 

Walter 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 Cover 

Stephanie 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 Cover 

Matthew 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)

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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.