'In this episode, we talk to Carmel Bird. Carmel has been writing continuously for more than forty years. She is the 2016 Patrick White Award winner. This award recognises a writer’s entire body of work, and Carmel’s body of work is impressive by any measure. Ten novels, children’s books, and very highly acclaimed books about the craft of writing. It is my pleasure to welcome Carmel Bird to The Garret.'
Transcript available from website.
- Carmel read Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies and the works of Charles Dickens as a child, and was encouraged to put on plays using his dialogue (for example, between Pip and Estella in Great Expectations).
- Carmel has an abiding love of poetry, although she does not write it. Her early influences include Alfred Tennyson and B. Yeats.
- Carmel acknowledges her debt to Charles Dickens. This contrasts to A. S. Patrić, who in Season 1 discussed his inability to engage with Charles Dickens and his preference for and emersion in science fiction.
- George Crookshank illustrated editions of both Charles Dickens and the Brothers Grimm, both of which influenced Carmel as a child.
- Carmel quotes Oodgeroo Nunuccal, an Indigenous poet, when talking about the past, present and future in her writing.
- At the time of this interview, Carmel was reading Publishing: A Writer’s Memoir by Gail Godwin.
- Carmel taught Andy Griffiths (who opened Season 2 of The Garret) at university, and now enjoys his Treehouse series with her grandchildren.