AustLit logo
Ffion Murphy Ffion Murphy i(A12481 works by)
Born: Established: 1960 Nairobi,
East Africa, Africa,
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 1964
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Works By

Preview all
1 y separately published work icon TEXT Special Issue Website Series Peripheral Visions no. 57 October Deborah Hunn (editor), Ffion Murphy (editor), Catherine Noske (editor), Anne Surma (editor), 2019 18271319 2019 periodical issue

'Official language smitheryed to sanction ignorance and preserve privilege is a suit of armor polished to shocking glitter, a husk from which the knight departed long ago. Yet there it is: dumb, predatory, sentimental. Exciting reverence in schoolchildren, providing shelter for despots, summoning false memories of stability, harmony among the public. (Morrison 1993)

'These lines, drawn from novelist, essayist, and teacher Toni Morrison’s 1993 Nobel lecture, offer a vivid description of the kinds of rhetoric dominating our public, professional, and even our cultural spaces today, although the cracks are beginning to show, and we would be hard pressed to claim that ‘harmony’ prevails.' (Deborah Hunn, Ffion Murphy, Catherine Noske and Anne Surma, Introduction)

1 Speaking for the Dead : Writing and the Unknown Australian Soldier Ffion Murphy , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : Journal of Writing and Writing Courses , April vol. 22 no. 1 2018;

'One third of the 60,000 Australians killed in the 1914-1918 war were unable to be identified. Known collectively as the ‘Unknown Soldier’ they were reburied in the postwar years with the inscription ‘Known unto God’. In 1993, the remains of one Australian killed on the Western Front were exhumed, repatriated and interred in the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial. In 2007, Archie Weller published a poem titled the ‘Unknown Soldier’ (Weller 2007) which gives a name, voice, history and character to the soldier-larrikin and anti-hero whose bones lie there, effectively challenging former prime-minister Paul Keating’s eulogy which insists ‘We will never know who this Australian was’ (Keating 1993). Weller deploys prosopopoeia, which has been described as the ‘fiction of the voice-from-beyond-the-grave’ and a ‘master trope’ of poetic discourse. His verse undercuts notions of the sacred associated with the Unknown Soldier and creates presence from absence, making explicit a key motive of imaginative writing. This paper speculates on the potency of the ‘unknown’ and the way that texts like tombs assist concealment and revelation, remembering and forgetting, resurrection and erasure.' (Publication abstract)

1 Writing Silence : Grieving Mothers and the Literature of War Richard Nile , Ffion Murphy , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Claiming Space for Australian Women's Writing 2017; (p. 37-59)

'This chapter considers silencing in relation to women’s writing on the First World War. Women claimed spaces to voice war’s impact both during the conflict and long after cessation of hostilities in November 1918, while negotiating expectations for emotion to be contained, grief to be observed in quietude and male heroism to be revered and privileged. Focussing on practices and motifs of silencing, we cut across prevailing notions that women’s war writing is merely trite and in thrall to duty, heroism and sacrifice for nation and empire to identify sites of conflict, compliance and disruption and speculate on the creation of empathetic communities through writing.'

Source: Abstract.

1 Writing Therapy : Paradox, Peril and Promise Ffion Murphy , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , no. 38 2017;
'Belief in the remedial potential of the writing process has intensified in the past three decades, with scientific studies indicating health and wellbeing benefits; poets, novelists and memoirists proclaiming therapeutic effects; and, innovative and broad-ranging use of creative writing in counselling and health care. This paper proposes that tertiary writing education can benefit from the explicit study of writing therapy as a complex, evolving and contested set of theories and practices. It outlines and contextualises my own approach, discusses some relevant literature, and proposes future interdisciplinary mixed-methods research, for the time is ripe in Australia for writing and health teachers and researchers to work together to investigate writing’s risks, paradoxes and recuperative possibilities.' (Introduction)
1 The Naked Anzac : Exposure and Concealment in A.B. Facey's A Fortunate Life Ffion Murphy , Richard Nile , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 75 no. 3 2016; (p. 219-237)
Murphy and Nile discuss Albert Facey's autobiography A Fortunate Life and his experiences of war.
1 The Many Transformations of Albert Facey Ffion Murphy , Richard Nile , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: M/C Journal , August vol. 19 no. 4 2016;

'In the last months of his life, 86-year-old Albert Facey became a best-selling author and revered cultural figure following the publication of his autobiography, A Fortunate Life. Released on Anzac Day 1981, it was praised for its “plain, unembellished, utterly sincere and un-self-pitying account of the privations of childhood and youth” (Semmler) and “extremely powerful description of Gallipoli” (Dutton 16). Within weeks, critic Nancy Keesing declared it an “Enduring Classic.” Within six months, it was announced as the winner of two prestigious non-fiction awards, with judges acknowledging Facey’s “extraordinary memory” and “ability to describe scenes and characters with great precision” (“NBC” 4). ' (Introduction)

1 Wounded Storyteller : Revisiting Albert Facey's Rortunate Life Ffion Murphy , Richard Nile , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Westerly , vol. 60 no. 2 2015; (p. 87-100)
1 History, Literature and Creative Writing : A New Dimension Ffion Murphy , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: IJAS , no. 4 2011; (p. 31-49)
'This paper glances at two major recent works - an anthology and a history - to preface its speculation that future publications of these kinds will need to address a significant transformation of the Australian literary landscape: tor the past two to three decades the way literatures is fostered and produced in Australia has been changing...' (32)
1 Stingo's Choice : Reflections on Judgement, Selection and Rejection Ffion Murphy , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Poems in Perspex : Max Harris Poetry Award 2007 2008; (p. 72-97)
1 Recuperating Writers - and Writing: the Potential of Writing Therapy Ffion Murphy , Philip Neilsen , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs , April vol. 12 no. 1 2008;
Authors' abstract: Writing therapy usefully creates, or makes explicit, common ground between literature and medicine, arts and sciences, and between clinical and community sectors and the academy. It draws upon multiple theories of language, memory, pain, subjectivity, identity, creativity, and the unconscious and is a site at which the concerns of established and emerging disciplines and interest groups coalesce; for example, literary studies, psychoanalysis, narrative therapy, narrative medicine, trauma studies, human rights, life-writing, and testimony studies. This article maps the field to indicate the breadth and potential of writing therapy as well as its risks and difficulties, and also suggests ways in which the practice and theory of therapeutic writing relates to and might be compatible with the practice and theory of creative and life-writing. Research suggests that writing may be most beneficial to health if it moves through developmental stages typical of writing designed for a readership. Transformation in the writing over time is relevant to both literary and health assessments. The article concludes that writing therapy presents a fascinating challenge for the discipline of creative writing and that there is potential for university writer-teachers to investigate writing therapy in academic, health science and community settings.
1 Bernard i "On the platform you", Ffion Murphy , 2007 single work poetry
— Appears in: Le Simplegadi , November no. 5 2007; (p. 49-51) Bernard Hickey, a Roving Cultural Ambassador : Essays in His Memory. 2009; (p. 361)
1 11 y separately published work icon Devotion Ffion Murphy , Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 2006 Z1247671 2006 single work novel
1 The Enigmas of Story Ffion Murphy , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: Story / Telling 2001; (p. 1-22)
1 In the Lion Cage Ffion Murphy , 2001 extract
— Appears in: Hecate , vol. 27 no. 1 2001; (p. 101-106)
1 y separately published work icon JAS Review of Books Cloran Phil (editor), Ffion Murphy (editor), Perth : Curtin University of Technology. Centre for Australian Studies , 2001-2004 Z911056 2001-2004 periodical (34 issues)
1 4 y separately published work icon Story / Telling Bronwen Levy (editor), Ffion Murphy (editor), St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2001 Z796450 2001 anthology criticism Essays based on contributions to the annual Woodford Forum, held as part of the Woodford Festival, Woodford, Queensland. Some of Australia's finest writers range through vast territory exploring new directions in film and media, enigmas and creativity, histories of mothering, narratives of indigenous and migrant experience, folk, country and multicultural music traditions, and dilemmas of interpretation. -- Libraries Australia
1 First Love Ffion Murphy , 1999 single work prose
— Appears in: Mangrove , 16 June no. 2 1999;
1 Sweetlips i "She's staring at me with these eyes,", Ffion Murphy , 1999 single work poetry
— Appears in: Mangrove , 16 June no. 2 1999;
1 Beagle Gulf i "Pass me my smokes. Thanks. Can't", Ffion Murphy , 1999 single work poetry
— Appears in: Mangrove , 16 March no. 1 1999;
1 y separately published work icon Journal of Australian Studies JAS no. 63 Ffion Murphy (editor), 1999 Z634396 1999 periodical issue