First awarded in 2007, the Calibre Prize for an Outstanding Essay is given by Australian Book Review. The prize is the key Australian award for an original essay.
The Calibre Prize is intended 'to generate brilliant new essays and to foster new insights into culture, society, and the human condition'. Essays from leading authors, commentators, and emerging writers are welcomed, and all non-fiction subjects are eligible.
Source: https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/prizes/calibre-prize Sighted: 3/12/2013.
'As the March and April evenings grew hotter, the streets of East Beirut were as empty as our calendars. The grumble of traffic had disappeared. Without the usual smokescreen, the nearby mountains and coastline were visible for weeks. Parks are scarce in Beirut and gardens are private, but this spring, vines and bougainvillea were clambering over the high walls and no one was trimming them. It was possible to take solitary walks and hear birdsong.' (Introduction)
'When I’m ten or so, my brother appears shirtless at the dinner table. Ever the eager disciple, I follow his example without a second thought. It is a sweltering January day, and our bodies are salt-crusted from the beach. Clothing seems cruel in these conditions.' (Introduction)
'I signed away ten years of my life at high school. Three hundred or so teenagers did likewise around the country; from Sydney and Melbourne to the wind-rustle quiet of burnt umber townships. We had similar reasons – wanting to be heroes and leaders, chasing self-respect, escaping loose ends, following Simpson and his donkey.' (Introduction)
David Hansen discusses 'the recent abortive sale of Benjamin Law's busts of Truganini and Woureddy and ... the controversy surrounding the promulgation of historical artefacts depicting Tasmanian Aborigines. Dr Hansen deplores the stigma surrounding such works, and is critical of academic and curatorial timidity and silence.'
Source: Australian Book Review, 'Advances', May 2010Joint winner with Lorna Hallahan for 'On Being Odd'.
'In "On Being Odd", Lorna Hallahan ... writes about a different form of stigmatisation: the marginalisation of the different, the disabled, the supposedly "odd" or "grotesque".'
Source: Australian Book Review, 'Advances', May 2010Joint winner with David Hansen for 'Seeing Truganini'.