Festival Book Launches 2015
Friday 18 September 2015
Everyday Epic By Anna Kerdijk-Nicholson
Anna Kerdijk Nicholson’s most recent book, Possession, won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry and the Wesley Michel Wright Prize and was shortlisted for the NSW and the ACT Premiers’ Prizes for Poetry. Her first book, The Bundanon Cantos was mentioned in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Books of 2003. She was born in Yorkshire (England), emigrating to Australia after studying literature, then as a postgraduate, qualifying as a lawyer. She works as a solicitor in Sydney, and has served on the committee of the Poets Union Inc and as a director of Australian Poetry.
Everyday Epic is Kerdijk-Nicholson’s third full-length collection. It honours the courage of our small twenty first century selves who battle on – in the face of prejudice, racism, the Intervention, Australia’s Immigration policy – despite our ‘pathetic human-ness’.
Comments on Kerdijk-Nicholson’s earlier collections include:
‘Skilled … Writing of poise and flair. Her angles of view are out of the ordinary.’
‘Full of sensual awareness and anachronistic leaps of imagery, abundant with things and ideas.’ Philip Salom
The Bundanon Cantos is ‘… a rare and impressive work.’ David McCooey
‘Possession is … a book of true poetic engagement.’ Martin Duwell
‘Kerdijk-Nicholson … is brave enough to deal at length with what is perhaps the primal Australian narrative. Possession deserves considered attention as a book central to many unresolved issues at the heart of Australian poetics … Books like this should be unavoidable nodes in the vast network of Australian poetry, culture and politics in the early twenty-first century.’ Stuart Cooke
Judith Beveridge has published six books of poetry; her most recent is Devadatta’s Poems (Giramondo, 2014) and Hook an Eye, which has just been published by George Braziller for the US market. Her first collection The Domesticity of Giraffes (1987), received the Dame Mary Gilmore Award, the NSW Premier's Poetry prize and the Victorian Premier's Poetry prize. In 1995 with Jill Jones and Louise Wakeling, she edited A Parachute of Blue, an anthology of Australian poetry. She has also worked on the literary magazines Hobo and Kalimat and is the current poetry editor of Meanjin. Her second volume, Accidental Grace, won the Wesley Michel Wright Award and was short-listed for other awards. In 1999 she attended the International Poetry Festival in Medellin in Colombia, and in 2003 was one of ten poets invited to Berlin to participate in the poetry translation project. Her third volume of poetry, Wolf Notes won the Judith Wright Calanthe Award for Poetry and the Victorian Premier's Poetry Prize. In 2005 she was awarded the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal for excellence in literature and in 2015. Judith has won the 2015 Peter Porter Poetry Prize for her poem ‘As Wasps Fly Upwards’. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Sydney.
Book Launch sponsored by Puncher & Wattmann
Saturday 19 September 2015
Australian Women War Reporters: Boer War To Vietnam By Jeannine Baker
This book tells the stories of the ground breaking Australian women journalists who have reported on conflict, from Agnes Macready’s Boer War experiences to Kate Webb’s extraordinary dispatches during the Vietnam War. The common picture of the war correspondent is a heroic male reporter of frontline combat, but women war reporters have been more numerous and significant than often imagined. Against the vehement opposition of newspaper editors, male reporters and the military, twentieth-century women journalists grew increasingly determined to report war from outside the home front. During the watershed years of World War II over twenty Australian women journalists reported from Europe, the South-west Pacific and Asia. They witnessed the rise of Nazism, the liberation of the concentration camps, the return of Australian POWs and the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Along the way they defied military policies that attempted to confine them to the margins of the battlefield and to writing only about the ‘woman’s angle’ on war. By the time of the Vietnam War, journalists like Kate Webb could claim that their gender was irrelevant to how they reported. The product of ten years of original research, this book reveals the little-known experiences of a remarkable group of women journalists, whose role in communicating the meaning of war to Australians was unique and far-reaching.
Jeannine Baker is a historian and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. She has also worked in the media as a producer and researcher. Jeannine produced the radio feature Fler and the Modernist Impulse (ABC Radio National, 2011), about modernism and furniture design, and she wrote and directed the documentary Our Drowned Town (SBS TV, 2001), about the inundation of the Snowy Mountains town of Adaminaby. She was awarded the 2014 Dennis-Wettenhall prize at the University of Melbourne for the best Australian history thesis. Australian Women War Reporters: Boer War to Vietnam is her first book.
Ginny Stein is a multi-award winning reporter and foreign correspondent. She was first posted overseas by the ABC to Thailand in 1997, and later to Indonesia, covering events such as the end of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the overthrow of Indonesia's dictator Suharto and the violence surrounding the birth of East Timor as the millennium’s newest nation.
After five years as a correspondent for the ABC in Asia, she spent almost a decade working internationally, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Middle East, and throughout Africa and Asia, as a video journalist filming and reporting for a range of programs including SBS TV's Dateline.
Her final assignment as the ABC’s Africa correspondent was to cover the funeral of South Africa’s first democratically elected President Nelson Mandela in 2013. Since returning to Australia, she has turned her focus to regional and rural Australia, covering stories for Lateline and Landline.