When entries closed in July, we had received 1300 entries in the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. Our three voracious judges are now finalising the shortlist. The four nominated short stories will appear in our Fiction issue in October. We will name the winner at an event in Melbourne later that month.
High talk in Canberra
Late October will be a fine time to be in Canberra. ABR is associated with two major public lectures at the National Library of Australia. On Monday, 24 October, Robert Dessaix will deliver the Seymour Biography Lecture 2011 (which is supported by John and Heather Seymour, ABR, and the National Library). Dr Dessaix’s paper is titled ‘Pushing against the Dark: Writings about the Hidden Self’. Previous Seymour Lecturers have included Richard Holmes, Brenda Niall, and Frances Spalding. The following evening (25 October), Professor Ian Donaldson will deliver the Australian Book Review Fiftieth Birthday Lecture. His theme is ‘Ben Jonson’s Double Life’. This lecture coincides with the publication of Professor Donaldson’s long-awaited biography of Ben Jonson (OUP). Both lectures will commence at 6 p.m.. These are free events, but you should reserve seats on (02) 6262 1271 or at www.nla.eventbrite.com. Don’t leave it too late!
Enter the Calibre Prize
We have tweaked the prize money for the Calibre Prize for an Outstanding Essay, which is now open for the sixth year in a row. Instead of a single prize, we now have three, worth $7000, $2000, and $1000 (single winners only in each category). Entries close on 1 December 2011. The entry form is available from our website. ABR again thanks Copyright Agency Limited for its long and inspired support for Australia’s premier essay prize. The Calibre page on our website will give you a good idea of the range, and quality, of the nine winning essays to date, of which seven now appear online.
New poetry journal
It has been an auspicious year for Australian poetry, with the creation of the online Australian Poetry Library and the imminent publication of Australian Poetry since 1788, edited by Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray (noted poet–translator Michael Hofmann will review it for ABR). Now we have a new poetry magazine, Australian Poetry Journal, created by Australian Poetry Ltd. Fittingly, the theme of the first issue is ‘Beginnings’. Advances spoke to Bronwyn Lea, the Editor, when she came to Melbourne to finalise the initial selection – from about 2500 poems. Local poets include three past winners of the Peter Porter Poetry Prize: Anthony Lawrence, Tracy Ryan, and Alex Skovron. Overseas poets include Christian Bok, Paul Kane, and Clive James. APJ also includes reviews, criticism, and a laudable feature on late poets (first up, Judith Beveridge on Robert Harris). The inaugural issue will be launched in October. A subscription to APJ is included in the annual membership to Australian Poetry Ltd. APJ can also be purchased direct from www.australianpoetry.org.
Fridays at Flinders
Prompt new and renewing subscribers this month will receive one of three terrific prizes. Ten people will receive signed copies of Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap (now a major television drama); a further ten will receive tickets to one of three performances of Viennese Serenade by the Australian Chamber Orchestra; and ten renewing subscribers will receive copies of William S. Burroughs: A Man Within on DVD, thanks to Madman. Call us now on (03) 9429 6700 or subscribe online to claim your special prize.
CONTENTS: SEPTEMBER 2011