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John Mateer John Mateer i(A754 works by)
Born: Established: 1971 Roodepoort-Maraisburg, Gauteng,
South Africa,
Southern Africa, Africa,
Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: 1989
Heritage: South African
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Mateer is a poet, art critic and practising Buddhist who grew up in an English-speaking family in South Africa and Canada. Prior to being conscripted during 'the State of Emergency' in South Africa, he moved with his parents to Western Australia in 1989 and then to Melbourne in 1998. Mateer graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts and Literature from the University of Western Australia.

His poetry has been published and reviewed in journals and newspapers in Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and the United States. He has occasionally written in Afrikaans 'in order to examine more fully what it means to be African' (Fremantle Arts Review, Aug/Sept 1994). He was invited to read his work at the International Meeting of Poets in Coimbra, Portugal, at WORDfEAST Singapore, Poetry Africa, the 62nd World Congress of PEN and at the Teater Utan Kayu in Jakarta. Mateer has also read his works at festivals in Australia including Ngara: Living in this Place Now. In 1998-1999 he was the inaugural Writer-in-residence at the Australia Centre Medan in North Sumatra and in the northern hemisphere fall of 2007 he undertook a residency at the Ledig House Writers' Colony, Omi, New York.


Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2021 shortlisted Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Western Australian Writer's Fellowship
2021 recipient INSPIRE Writer in Residence Initiative residency at Peninsular Farm, Maylands
2018 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships

Literature Arts Projects For Individuals and Groups $21,746.00

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Unbelievers, or 'The Moor' Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2013 6564720 2013 selected work poetry

'John Mateer’s previous poetry book Southern Barbarians traced the influence of the Portuguese empire in the Indian Ocean – it was shortlisted for the PM’s Award for Poetry and the NSW and Victorian Premiers’ Literary Awards. Unbelievers, or The Moor takes this exploration one step further, to recover its Arabic and Islamic origins in Al-Andalus, the Moorish state which occupied much of present-day Spain and Portugal from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries. A seat of learning and culture, which combined Muslim, Christian and Jewish influences, it provides a model for Mateer’s own mixed background as a South African Australian, and for his nomadic identity as a poet. The collection is much concerned with influential but invisible histories; with the poem as a moment of connection between languages and cultures, so that it seems already to exist in translation; with doubles and hauntings, friends in far places, and above all, what Mateer calls ‘the irony of Elsewhere’.' (Publisher's blurb)

2015 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry
This Dark Book 2009 sequence poetry
— Appears in: The Night Road : Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 2009 2009; (p. 94-101)
2009 Commended The Newcastle Poetry Prize
Last amended 25 Jun 2021 07:20:57
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