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Delys Bird Delys Bird i(A20660 works by)
Born: Established: Kalgoorlie, Goldfields area, Southeast Western Australia, Western Australia, ;
Gender: Female
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BiographyHistory

Delys Bird's tertiary education was undertaken as a mature age student at the University of Western Australia after living in Sydney for a decade in the 1960s. She began teaching English in 1980 and joined the Faculty of Arts, University of Western Australia in 1985 where she was a member of the English Department and Director of the Centre for Women's Studies until her retirement in 2003.

Bird is an academic teacher, critic and editor. She has been an editor of the literary magazine Westerly since the early 1990s, having previously served as poetry editor. Her research interests have consistently been in the area of Australian literature, especially the writing of women. She works in feminist theory and cultural studies and her most recent research project has been in collaboration with Robert Dixon and Chris Lee into a history of Australian literary criticism from 1950.

Delys Bird was a member of the AustLit Advisory Board and provided direction for the Western Australian specialist sub-set of AustLit.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2019 recipient Order of Australia Member of the Order of Australia (AM) For significant service to higher education, and to gender studies and literature.
2011 ASAL Awards A.A. Phillips Award For her 'long period of excellence in the editing of Westerly'.

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Westerly 1956 Arts Union, University of Western Australia , 1956-1963 Z872534 1956 periodical (206 issues)

Westerly began as a student-edited magazine of the Arts Union of the University of Western Australia in December 1956. Published three times a year, the magazine had an annual editorial turnover until 1962 when J. M. S. O'Brien began a term which lasted until 1965. From the beginning, Westerly struggled to find a balance between serving the West Australian region and maintaining an intellectual connection with the eastern states and the rest of the world. Attempting to encourage writing in the region, Westerly sought poetry and fiction from emerging writers, but it was not until the early 1960s that contributions of a consistently high quality were received.

When J. M. S. O'Brien finished his term as editor, Westerly was produced by a group of editorial associates, rather than a clearly defined editor, until 1975. Bruce Bennett, Peter Cowan and John Barnes, members of the English Department, acted as primary editors during this time until Bennett and Cowan were appointed joint editors in 1975. Delys Bird and Dennis Haskell, also members of the English Department, began their term as co-editors in 1993. Published by the Centre for Studies in Australian Literature since 1982, Westerly maintains a strong connection with the English Department at the University of Western Australia.

During the 1960s Westerly concentrated on original work, publishing the first works of a number of significant writers, including Frank Moorhouse, Murray Bail and Michael Wilding (qq.v.). The number of poems also increased during this time. Westerly attracted contributions from Bruce Dawe, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Gwen Harwood, Dorothy Hewett, Fay Zwicky, Hal Colebatch and William Grono (qq.v.). Westerly continued to attract quality fiction and poetry in the 1970s, publishing the work of a number of writers, including Vicki Viidikas, T. A. G. Hungerford, James McQueen, Peter Murphy, Peter Goldsworthy, Wendy Jenkins, Jean Kent, Richard Carey and John Bryson (qq.v.).

Reviews and criticism were not plentiful during the 1960s, partly because Perth's The Critic already performed that function for the local community. This changed slowly during the 1970s following the establishment of a BA course in Australian literature at the University of Western Australia in 1973. By the late 1970s, the number of reviews and articles had steadily increased to cater for students of Australian literature, but the editors tried to avoid an overly academic tone to maintain a broad readership.

Westerly occasionally produced special issues during the 1960s and 1970s. This became more regular in the late 1980s and 1990s when the fourth issue of the year concentrated on a particular theme. One of the more significant has been Westerly's special issues on South East Asia. Earlier issues display an interest in countries common to the Indian Ocean, but this gradually expanded to include the wider Asian region. The extent of this concentration is exhibited in the book of extracts Westerly Looks to Asia: A Selection from Westerly 1956-1992 (1993). Other special issues have examined Australian Jewish writing, the relationship between Australia and the Mediterranean, environmental issues and justice.

Like most literary magazines, Westerly has struggled to attract funding. Early volumes included a significant amount of advertising. The financial burden was eased when the first ongoing grant from the Australian government was received in 1963. Westerly has since received assistance from the university and state and national bodies, but this funding steadily decreased during the 1990s. As a result, the magazine changed format in 1996. Four years later, as a result of continuing financial pressure, Westerly affiliated itself with John Kinsella's literary magazine Salt. An editorial note stated that this resulted in 'wider distribution, and a broader and more international profile, putting it in a unique position among Australian literary magazines.' With this affiliation, Westerly has appeared annually since 2000, sharing the year (and subscribers) with Salt, which appears during the first half of each year. Westerly continues to cover West Australian, Australian and Asian literature while Salt offers subscribers an annual of European and American literature.

2020 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Literature Arts Projects for Organisations     $20,510 
y separately published work icon Westerly 1956 Arts Union, University of Western Australia , 1956-1963 Z872534 1956 periodical (206 issues)

Westerly began as a student-edited magazine of the Arts Union of the University of Western Australia in December 1956. Published three times a year, the magazine had an annual editorial turnover until 1962 when J. M. S. O'Brien began a term which lasted until 1965. From the beginning, Westerly struggled to find a balance between serving the West Australian region and maintaining an intellectual connection with the eastern states and the rest of the world. Attempting to encourage writing in the region, Westerly sought poetry and fiction from emerging writers, but it was not until the early 1960s that contributions of a consistently high quality were received.

When J. M. S. O'Brien finished his term as editor, Westerly was produced by a group of editorial associates, rather than a clearly defined editor, until 1975. Bruce Bennett, Peter Cowan and John Barnes, members of the English Department, acted as primary editors during this time until Bennett and Cowan were appointed joint editors in 1975. Delys Bird and Dennis Haskell, also members of the English Department, began their term as co-editors in 1993. Published by the Centre for Studies in Australian Literature since 1982, Westerly maintains a strong connection with the English Department at the University of Western Australia.

During the 1960s Westerly concentrated on original work, publishing the first works of a number of significant writers, including Frank Moorhouse, Murray Bail and Michael Wilding (qq.v.). The number of poems also increased during this time. Westerly attracted contributions from Bruce Dawe, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Gwen Harwood, Dorothy Hewett, Fay Zwicky, Hal Colebatch and William Grono (qq.v.). Westerly continued to attract quality fiction and poetry in the 1970s, publishing the work of a number of writers, including Vicki Viidikas, T. A. G. Hungerford, James McQueen, Peter Murphy, Peter Goldsworthy, Wendy Jenkins, Jean Kent, Richard Carey and John Bryson (qq.v.).

Reviews and criticism were not plentiful during the 1960s, partly because Perth's The Critic already performed that function for the local community. This changed slowly during the 1970s following the establishment of a BA course in Australian literature at the University of Western Australia in 1973. By the late 1970s, the number of reviews and articles had steadily increased to cater for students of Australian literature, but the editors tried to avoid an overly academic tone to maintain a broad readership.

Westerly occasionally produced special issues during the 1960s and 1970s. This became more regular in the late 1980s and 1990s when the fourth issue of the year concentrated on a particular theme. One of the more significant has been Westerly's special issues on South East Asia. Earlier issues display an interest in countries common to the Indian Ocean, but this gradually expanded to include the wider Asian region. The extent of this concentration is exhibited in the book of extracts Westerly Looks to Asia: A Selection from Westerly 1956-1992 (1993). Other special issues have examined Australian Jewish writing, the relationship between Australia and the Mediterranean, environmental issues and justice.

Like most literary magazines, Westerly has struggled to attract funding. Early volumes included a significant amount of advertising. The financial burden was eased when the first ongoing grant from the Australian government was received in 1963. Westerly has since received assistance from the university and state and national bodies, but this funding steadily decreased during the 1990s. As a result, the magazine changed format in 1996. Four years later, as a result of continuing financial pressure, Westerly affiliated itself with John Kinsella's literary magazine Salt. An editorial note stated that this resulted in 'wider distribution, and a broader and more international profile, putting it in a unique position among Australian literary magazines.' With this affiliation, Westerly has appeared annually since 2000, sharing the year (and subscribers) with Salt, which appears during the first half of each year. Westerly continues to cover West Australian, Australian and Asian literature while Salt offers subscribers an annual of European and American literature.

2020 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Literature Arts Projects for Organisations     $20,510 
y separately published work icon Westerly 1956 Arts Union, University of Western Australia , 1956-1963 Z872534 1956 periodical (206 issues)

Westerly began as a student-edited magazine of the Arts Union of the University of Western Australia in December 1956. Published three times a year, the magazine had an annual editorial turnover until 1962 when J. M. S. O'Brien began a term which lasted until 1965. From the beginning, Westerly struggled to find a balance between serving the West Australian region and maintaining an intellectual connection with the eastern states and the rest of the world. Attempting to encourage writing in the region, Westerly sought poetry and fiction from emerging writers, but it was not until the early 1960s that contributions of a consistently high quality were received.

When J. M. S. O'Brien finished his term as editor, Westerly was produced by a group of editorial associates, rather than a clearly defined editor, until 1975. Bruce Bennett, Peter Cowan and John Barnes, members of the English Department, acted as primary editors during this time until Bennett and Cowan were appointed joint editors in 1975. Delys Bird and Dennis Haskell, also members of the English Department, began their term as co-editors in 1993. Published by the Centre for Studies in Australian Literature since 1982, Westerly maintains a strong connection with the English Department at the University of Western Australia.

During the 1960s Westerly concentrated on original work, publishing the first works of a number of significant writers, including Frank Moorhouse, Murray Bail and Michael Wilding (qq.v.). The number of poems also increased during this time. Westerly attracted contributions from Bruce Dawe, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Gwen Harwood, Dorothy Hewett, Fay Zwicky, Hal Colebatch and William Grono (qq.v.). Westerly continued to attract quality fiction and poetry in the 1970s, publishing the work of a number of writers, including Vicki Viidikas, T. A. G. Hungerford, James McQueen, Peter Murphy, Peter Goldsworthy, Wendy Jenkins, Jean Kent, Richard Carey and John Bryson (qq.v.).

Reviews and criticism were not plentiful during the 1960s, partly because Perth's The Critic already performed that function for the local community. This changed slowly during the 1970s following the establishment of a BA course in Australian literature at the University of Western Australia in 1973. By the late 1970s, the number of reviews and articles had steadily increased to cater for students of Australian literature, but the editors tried to avoid an overly academic tone to maintain a broad readership.

Westerly occasionally produced special issues during the 1960s and 1970s. This became more regular in the late 1980s and 1990s when the fourth issue of the year concentrated on a particular theme. One of the more significant has been Westerly's special issues on South East Asia. Earlier issues display an interest in countries common to the Indian Ocean, but this gradually expanded to include the wider Asian region. The extent of this concentration is exhibited in the book of extracts Westerly Looks to Asia: A Selection from Westerly 1956-1992 (1993). Other special issues have examined Australian Jewish writing, the relationship between Australia and the Mediterranean, environmental issues and justice.

Like most literary magazines, Westerly has struggled to attract funding. Early volumes included a significant amount of advertising. The financial burden was eased when the first ongoing grant from the Australian government was received in 1963. Westerly has since received assistance from the university and state and national bodies, but this funding steadily decreased during the 1990s. As a result, the magazine changed format in 1996. Four years later, as a result of continuing financial pressure, Westerly affiliated itself with John Kinsella's literary magazine Salt. An editorial note stated that this resulted in 'wider distribution, and a broader and more international profile, putting it in a unique position among Australian literary magazines.' With this affiliation, Westerly has appeared annually since 2000, sharing the year (and subscribers) with Salt, which appears during the first half of each year. Westerly continues to cover West Australian, Australian and Asian literature while Salt offers subscribers an annual of European and American literature.

2020 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Literature Arts Projects for Organisations     $20,510 
Last amended 12 Jun 2019 13:37:57
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