Michael Sharkey was educated at the Marist Brothers' High School, Parramatta. He gained a BA from the University of Sydney and a PhD from the University of Auckland. From 1965 to 1968 Sharkey worked at Cassell Australia in Sydney. In early 1979 Sharkey and Winifred Belmont (q.v.) established the Fat Possum Press in Armidale with the intention of publishing their own works and those of others in the New England and other non-urban regions. From 1983 to 1984 Sharkey was a lecturer in English at the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education in Toowoomba, Queensland. He subsequently worked part-time at Footscray Institute of Technology in Melbourne and associated with Barrett Reid (q.v.). Sharkey continued his academic career at Bond University and the University of New England.
Sharkey has been a writer-in-the-community at libraries in Victoria and New South Wales. He was a member of La Mama Poetica and has read his poetry at venues across Australia, New Zealand, China and Europe. In 1994 Sharkey visited Germany as a guest at the Second Autumn Summer School on the New Literature in English at Aachen. He has made several return visits for Summer Schools at Osnabrück University (1996 and 1998), Kiel University (2000), Humboldt University, Berlin (2002) and The Free University (2005).
Sharkey has been chair of the New England Writers' Centre since 1993 and was editor of the literary magazine Ulitarra from 1996 to 2000. He became editor of the Australian Poetry Journal in 2014.
'Sharkey, Michael Francis' in J.L. Blyth & P.T. McNally Darling Downs Writers: a Bibliography (1989): 88-91.
'Sharkey, Michael (1946- ) in William H. Wilde et. al. The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature(1994): 690.
Michael Sharkey 'Vale, Shelton Lea' , Overland 180 (2005): 67-70.
Further information provided by the author including amendments to inaccuracies in the OCAL entry.
Zora Cross was born in Brisbane, Queensland. She was educated at a number of schools in Brisbane and Sydney before attending Teachers' College. Cross taught primary school for some time, but left to give birth to her first child. Her first marriage (to Stuart Smith) failed and she eventually lived in a de facto relationship with David McKee Wright, the editor of the Bulletin's "Red Page" from 1916 to 1926.
Cross's first book of poetry, A Song of Mother Love, was published in 1916. In 1917 she published Songs of Love and Life, a collection of love-sonnets that have the distinction of being the first sustained expression in Australian poetry of erotic experience from a woman's point of view. Cross's poems appeared regularly in the Bulletin and she published several volumes of children's verse. She also published a number of novels in serial and book form, but they have attracted little critical attention. Her pamphlet An Introduction to the Study of Australian Literature (1922) has some historical interest, but her arguments no longer attract interest.
In her early teens, Zora Cross was a regular contributor to the 'Children's Corner' section of the Australian Town and Country Journal. In addition to her children's stories such as 'Clem's Ride' (1906), a number of her letters and other items were published from time to time, and these include some interesting biographical material, etc. Her photo also appeared in the 'Our Young Contributors' column, in the Australian Town and Country Journal, 24 May 1905, (p. 38).
F. C. Brown claims to have been 'inseparable friends' with Cross from the time they first met during World War I, when Cross was editing a newspaper and organising concerts for soldiers about to leave for the front. In 'Zora Cross', The Australian Woman's Mirror, vol. 4, no. 17, 20 March, 1928, Brown provides some details of Cross's early life, including that she was given her first lessons in poetry by Mary Hannay Foott and that her father taught verse and was taught by Brunton Stephens. Some of her mother's relatives wrote for The Australian Woman's Mirror, and her paternal grandfather edited an early Brisbane newspaper, The Paddington Times.The article also includes a portrait photograph of Cross taken after she moved to the Blue Mountains.
After Wright's death in 1928, Cross was in serious financial difficulty. With freelance journalism and serial fiction she made a meagre income for her family. This was assisted by a small pension from the Commonwealth Literary Fund, but Cross's family continued to live in poverty. In later life she pursued an interest in Roman themes and travelled to Rome for research, but the intended trilogy was never finished. Zora Cross died of heart disease in 1964.
Born in New Zealand, Lucy Sussex moved with her family to Townsville in 1971, after living in France and England. She was awarded her M.A. (Librarianship) from Monash University in 1982, and in her Ph.D. in 2005 with her thesis Cherchez les Femmes: the Lives and Literary Contributions of the first Women to Write Crime Fiction from the University of Wales, Cardiff. She was working as a research assistant at the University of Melbourne when she uncovered 'Waif Wanderer' as Mary Fortune, one of Australia's first women crime writers, and has subsequently published on the topic as well as working as an editor. Known for writing reviews (The Sunday Age and The West Australian), literary criticism, horror and detective stories, Sussex has republished 19th century Australian female crime writers, including Ellen Davitt's 1865 Force and Fraud (Mulini, 1993) which is thought to be Australia's first murder mystery book. Her work includes both scholarly and creative writing. Anthologies she has compiled include the genres of feminist fantasy and young readers. She has been involved in writing workshops, spoken at sci-fi and fantasy conventions, and judged sci-fi writing awards. Sussex, as Senior Research Fellow at Melbourne University, has been involved in projects ranging from Australian writers and journalists in London to Victorian diarists.
Her first published writing was a poem in Neon Signs to the Mutes : poetry by young Australians edited by Patsy Adam-Smith, Michael Dugan, J.S. Hamilton (Terry Hills : Reed, 1977), her first published short story was The Parish and Mrs Brown (1983), and her first published novel was a children's novel The Peace Garden (1994). Sussex has also widely published academically, including the Canadian Women's History Bibliography :
Catalogue, compiled by Klay Dyer, Sue Martin, Lucy Sussex (1997), which serves as a guide to the microfiche subject set, Canadian Women's History Bibliography, a part of the larger microfiche set, entitled: Pre-1900 Canadian Monographs.