Delia Falconer is the winner of The Nib: CAL Waverley Library Literary Award for 2011. The award, recognising excellence in research in the creation of Australian writing, is this year celebrating its tenth anniversary and attracted 155 nominations.
Waverley Mayor John Wakefield announced the winner on 23 November, saying that Falconer’s prose title Sydney is an ‘intensely atmospheric memoir of a fickle, ever-changing city’. Wakefield also commented that literary awards ‘often have a way of going to our male writers. I am especially pleased that in this milestone year of The Nib, not only are 4 of the shortlisted authors female, but the overall winner has written a most eloquent insight into our hometown, Sydney’.
Further information on The Nib can be found on the Waverley Library’s website. Links from the site include the text of an address given by the 2010 Nib winner, Andrew Tink. Coincidentally, Tink's second book, to be published in early December, is a biography of Lord Sydney, the British cabinet minister who recommended the transportation of convicts to Botany Bay.
Poet Robert Gray is the recipient of this year’s $50,000 Emeritus Award from the Australia Council. The award ‘acknowledges the achievements of eminent literary writers 60 years of age and over who have made outstanding and lifelong contributions to Australian literature’.
Professor Dennis Haskell, Chair of the Australia Council Literature Board, announced the award, saying: ‘Robert Gray’s poems put him in a rare class of world poets whose work is likely to survive into the next century and beyond ... Gray has the best eye in Australian poetry and his work is notable for its sharp visual images ... His memoir of 2008, The Land I Came Through Last, is a work so lyrical it reads like a long prose poem.’
Gray and fellow poet Geoffrey Lehmann released the anthology Australian Poetry since 1788 in October 2011. Professor Haskell describes the collection as ‘the largest and most comprehensive anthology of Australian poetry ever published’ and suggests that with this collection and Gray’s own work, Gray has become ‘an important force in the preservation of our poetic heritage’.
The Australia Council's complete media release for the Emeritus Award is available here.
ScreenWest, Western Australia's screen funding and development agency, has been recognised for its work supporting Indigenous filmmakers and storytelling, winning the Improving Indigenous Outcomes category at the 16th annual WA Premier's Awards for the ScreenWest Indigenous Screen Strategy.
The Improving Indigenous Outcomes category recognises projects that provide Indigenous Australians with greater opportunity and capacity to determine their own lives through employment, participation and strong communities.
ScreenWest has supported the films Mad Bastards, Bran Nue Dae, Jandamarra’s War and television series The Circuit, Straight Shootin’ (Mary G's talk show), and Waabiny Time, the first Indigenous language program aimed at an early childhood audience.
You can read more about the Indigenous Screen Strategy at the ScreenWest website.
The IBBY Honour List is 'a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books, honouring writers, illustrators, and translators from IBBY member countries'.
The 2010 Honour List has been released.
I specifically look firstly for really solid writing – writing that is unpretentious and doesn't get in the way of the story. And then I want to be emotionally or intellectually moved or changed by the work. I look for stories that demand my attention and then hold it. I look for stories that tell me something I didn't know before - about myself, or about society or humanity.
The awards are presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the fantasy field.
Sue Walker's Arnie Avery is the winner of the 2011 Children's Peace Literature Award. The award is presented biennially by the Psychologists for Peace, a special interest group of the Australian Psychological Society.
In Arnie Avery issues such as coping with grief, family support, and bullying are addressed with an emphasis on care and compassion, respect, and doing your best.
The judges were impressed by the book's 'literary merit, engaging style, and the main character's capacity for self-analysis and effective non-violent handling of conflict'.
Several writers are included on the state and territory lists of finalists for the four national 2012 Australian of the Year Awards. Playwright David Williamson is one of the Queensland nominees for Senior Australian of the Year; writer and artist Rod Moss is a finalist in the same category for the Northern Territory. Also in contention for a Northern Territory award is children's author Leonie Norrington who has been nominated in the Australia's Local Hero category.
Other finalists include teacher and author Margaret James (Australian of the Year, Northern Territory), singer/songwriter Paul Kelly (Australian of the Year, Victoria), and art curator and diarist Betty Churcher (Senior Australian of the Year, Australian Capital Territory).
A full list of all finalists is available on the Australian of the Year Awards website. The national winners in each category will be announced in Canberra on 25 January 2012.
One hundred and forty-seven books have been nominated for the 2012 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The longlisted titles were nominated by libraries in 122 cities across 45 countries.
Australian titles on the list are Bereft by Chris Womersley, The Body in the Clouds by Ashley Hay, Book of Lost Threads by Tess Evans, Inheritance by Nicholas Shakespeare, Rocks in the Belly by Jon Bauer, That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott, The Vintage and the Gleaning by Jeremy Chambers, and When Colts Ran by Roger McDonald.
Room, by Irish novelist Emma Donoghue, received the greatest number of nominations worldwide with a total of 20 nominations from libraries in Ireland, England, France, the Maldives, Australia, New Zealand, the US, and Canada.
The 2012 shortlist for the international prize will be announced on 12 April 2012 and the winner declared on 13 June 2012. To see the complete longlist, follow the links from the IMPAC Award homepage.
Filmmaker, director, and animator Sarah Watt has died at her Melbourne home from secondary bone cancer. Watt won great acclaim for her 2005 film Look Both Ways; her 2009 movie My Year Without Sex was also well received.
Watt had very recently published the autobiographical Worse Things Happen at Sea, co-authored with her husband William McInnes. Publisher Hachette Australia says the book 'celebrates the wonderful, messy, haphazard things in life — bringing home babies from hospital, being a friend, a parent, son or daughter, and dog obedience classes ... It is also about understanding that sometimes you have to say goodbye; that is part of life too.'
Robert Adamson has claimed the 2011 Patrick White Award for an author 'who has made a contribution to Australian Literature' but 'who may not have received due recognition for that contribution'.
The judges' citation notes that Adamson first came to prominence in the 1960s as part of the so-called 'Generation of '68', a group of poets committed to experimentation. 'For over four decades he has continued to chart new poetic territory. He is a master of his craft, interrogating the ability of language to convey lived, visceral experience.' The judges further noted that Adamson is ‘one of Australia’s truly great poets of place. His place is the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney ... The Hawkesbury operates as both a real and imaginative homeland in his poetry.’
The book discusses the Ern Malley hoax and connections between Australian and French poetry.
'The Sons of Clovis' is the painting the gentlemen on the front cover are viewing. The painting is by Evariste-Vital Luminai and is held by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
The Literature Board of the Australia Council has announced the recipients of the September round of New Work Grants and Fellowships. The board received over 400 applications and its budget 'extended to supporting 62 applications to a total of $1,995,000'.
Recipients of New Work Grants include poets Brook Emery, Kathryn Lomer and John Mateer; fiction writers Gregory Day, Dominic Smith and Chris Womersley; and non-fiction writers Peter Robb, Fiona Capp and Leah Kaminsky.
The once-in-a-lifetime Fellowship was awarded to picture book illustrator Ron Brooks. Brooks is the artist responsible for dozens of picture books including the award-winning The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek, John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat and Fox. The judges declared that Brooks's work 'has changed the possibilities for book illustration in Australia'.