Australian writers spread their wings on the international stage
The Writing Program in the Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong and the Copyright Agency have joined forces to support and promote Australian writers and writing on the international stage.
In 2013 the university will offer three $10,000 fellowships to Australian writers whose work is as yet unknown to a wider international readership. Universities and writers’ centres in London and Norwich in the UK and Iowa in the USA will host the fellows, providing them with access to writers, academics and readers.
‘The Copyright Agency has funded a unique and exciting opportunity’, Catherine Cole, Professor of Creative Writing and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Creative Arts at UOW said. ‘While the work of many of our writers is known and taught in universities and schools in Australia, they remain unknown overseas. University writing programs are one important way in which to address that.’
The host organizations agree. Professor Vesna Goldsworthy, Kingston University, London is one of the UK and Europe’s most exciting poets. She is one of the founding members of Kingston Writing School which includes award-winning novelists such as Hanif Kureishi, Eva Hoffman, Paul Bailey and Rachel Cusk, and poets including Todd Swift, Paul Perry and Siobhan Campbell. She sees the opportunity to host a poet at Kingston as a chance to establish a creative conversation with contemporary Australian and British poetry. ‘In the UK and Australia we often assume we know each other’s writing, but when we meet to talk we realize that so much remains undiscovered - as if it were languishing in a foreign language. We are particularly happy that we will be hosting a poet, because poetry – perhaps more than other forms of writing – thrives on live performance and communication. Kingston welcomes this fellowship as an opportunity to become one of the lasting homes of Australian writing in London.’
Chris Gribble, Director of the Writers’ Centre Norwich, which works closely with University of East Anglia’s Writing Program, is looking forward to hosting a fellow for the Centre’s Writing Worlds conference in 2013 which has previously hosted writers such as JM Coetzee, Michael Ondaatje, Jeanette Winterson, as well as exciting emerging writers from all over the World.
‘Writers’ Centre Norwich is delighted to be working with the Writing Program at the University of Wollongong and the Copyright Agency on these International Writers’ Fellowships. The Fellows who come to Norwich will be welcomed by WCN, University of East Anglia and all of our partners into a vibrant literary city where writing and literature are part of the fabric of our everyday life. Our previous guests in recent years have included many brilliant Australian writers who have contributed in outstanding ways to our gatherings. We look forward to welcoming many more in the coming three years.’
Professor Robin Hemley, University of Iowa nonfiction program and one of the USA’s leading nonfiction writers, sees this as ‘an opportunity to strengthen the growing relationship between Australian writers of nonfiction and the writing programs at the University of Iowa. Such programs as this are of great benefit to everyone involved, the writers chosen for the program, as well as the instructors, students and writers with whom they will come into contact. The prospect is an exciting one indeed.’
Professor Cole says the University of Wollongong with its strong focus on creative arts is the ideal centre from which the fellows will embark on their international program. ‘UOW hosts one of the leading Creative Arts programs in Australia and the fellows will be welcomed and supported here as well as on their exciting journeys. This is just what Australian literature needs – a greater focus in creative writing programs here and around the world.’
For further enquiries please contact:
Professor Catherine Cole,
Deputy Dean, Faculty of Creative Arts
University of Wollongong
Phone: (02) 4221 3004