'The tale of the political left is a tale of violent conflict. Of barricades and bullets. Of hard-won victories and merciless reprisals. Of lives cut short in martyrdom. And philosophy, we have been told, is a reflection of this: ‘the class struggle in theory,’ according to Louis Althusser’s famous dictum. The apposition of conflict and philosophy is doubly appropriate when it comes to Germany, birthplace of Karl Marx, and especially so during the twentieth century. It was in Germany that two of the left’s foremost intellects were thoroughly committed to the kind of civil dissensus that would ultimately claim their lives.' (Introduction)
1974 – Ronald McKie The Mango Tree
1973 – No award
1972 – Thea Astley The Acolyte
'When adjudicating on novels published in 1973 — the year Gough Whitlam’s Labor government bought Jackson Pollock’s ‘Blue Poles’, the year the delightfully awful Alvin Purple was released, and the year Patrick White won the Nobel Prize for Literature — the judges of the Miles Franklin Literary Award decided not to name a winner. Their statement read:
''This is the first time since the Award was established in 1957 that the judges have failed to find an Australian novel of sufficient merit among the entries to warrant the prize. … One of the Judges, Professor Colin Roderick … said it was regrettable that more eligible published novels were not entered for such a substantial Award ($1,250).''
'Oscar Schwartz is a contemporary Australian poet, writer, and researcher currently based in Darwin, Australia. His poetry and research offers wry and nuanced investigations of the figure of the human, and its entanglements within technological and automated environments. He published his first book of poetry, The Honeymoon Stage, with Giramondo Press, in 2017; he is currently working on a book of essays, forthcoming with Scribe in 2019. He has also edited the memoirs of Eva Slonim, a child survivor of Auschwitz, for Black Inc in 2014.
'He represents a new generational voice in contemporary Australian poetry, concerned with a poetic of communication, affect and work, unique to an increasingly virtual and networked mode of life in the 21st century. He is part of a larger, online, global community, contributing to an emerging genre of Internet poetry, which inventively engages with constraints offered by social media and other online platforms. This interview was conducted in 2015, as part of a larger ARC funded project, led by Justin Clemens, titled Australian Poetry Today.'
'Congratulations to the shortlisted critics! The applications for the fellowships impressed with their critical acuity, their literary qualities, their curiosity and their diversity. My thanks are due to the fellowship judges, Ben Etherington, Michelle Cahill and Shannon Burns, for reading and appraising the applications with care and diligence.' (Introduction)
'Kim Scott’s fifth novel, Taboo, is an extraordinary testament to the new energies in Aboriginal storytelling that have emerged since the 1990s, the decade the Mabo decision overturned the legal fiction of terra nullius and recognised Aboriginal land claims in Australian law for the first time. As Scott said in 2012: ‘This is an Aboriginal nation, you know. It’s black country, the continent. Some people are starting to think about: can we graft a contemporary Australian community onto its Indigenous roots?’ (Introduction)
'Madeline Martha Mackenzie, the central character in Liane Moriarty’s best-selling novel Big Little Lies, thinks of Pirriwee, the fictional suburb on Sydney’s northern beaches where she lives, and where the action of the novel takes place, as a ‘country village.’ This is a signpost to Jane Austen’s oft-quoted statement ‘Three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work on.’ As a definition of the scope and subject matter of a novel written in the mode of domestic realism, Austen’s formulation has established a major tradition within English-language fiction.' (Introduction)
'Six Degrees from the City is a podcast about writing in Western Sydney, hosted by the writer and critic Fiona Wright. Each episode features a writer based in or hailing from the western suburbs of Sydney, one of the most diverse – as well as most maligned – areas in Australia, and the site of some of our most interesting and challenging literature and conversations. This first episode features the poet Lachlan Brown, from whose work the podcast takes its name – in his ‘Poem for a Film’, Lachlan writes, ‘To exist within this weatherboard valley/ is to remain always six degrees from the //city.’' (Introduction)