AustLit logo
Melissa Ashley Melissa Ashley i(A7896 works by)
Born: Established: 1973 Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island,
New Zealand,
Pacific Region,
Gender: Female
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.


Melissa Ashley was the assistant director of the Subverse: Queensland Poetry Festival during the period 1999-2001. She has also co-ordinated The Arts Queensland Award for Unpublished Poetry.

Her short stories, essays, poems, and reviews have appeared in The Age (Spectrum), The Lifted Brow, Australian Book Review, Overland, Catamaran Literary Review, among others.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2016 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Literature Board Grants Cite International des Arts Residencies $10,000.00

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Birdman's Wife Melbourne : Affirm Press , 2016 10145786 2016 single work novel historical fiction

'Artist Elizabeth Gould spent her life capturing the sublime beauty of birds the world had never seen before. But her legacy was eclipsed by the fame of her husband, John Gould. The Birdman’s Wife at last gives voice to a passionate and adventurous spirit who was so much more than the woman behind the man.

'Elizabeth was a woman ahead of her time, juggling the demands of her artistic life with her roles as wife, lover, helpmate, and mother to an ever-growing brood of children. In a golden age of discovery, her artistry breathed wondrous life into countless exotic new species, including Charles Darwin’s Galapagos finches.

'In The Birdman’s Wife a naïve young girl who falls in love with an ambitious genius comes into her own as a woman, an artist and a bold adventurer who defies convention by embarking on a trailblazing expedition to the colonies to discover Australia’s ‘curious’ birdlife.

'An indelible portrait of an extraordinary woman overlooked by history - until now.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2017 winner Booksellers Choice Award
2017 winner Queensland Literary Awards Fiction Book Award
2017 finalist Queensland Literary Awards The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year
2017 longlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian General Fiction Book of the Year
2017 shortlisted Indie Awards Debut Fiction
Last amended 12 Sep 2018 10:48:58
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: