Calibre Essays

2013 Calibre Prize (Winner): Because it's Your Country

Martin Thomas
Sunday, 24 March 2013

Listen to this essay read by the author.


The morgue in Gunbalanya holds no more than half a doz ...

Now They've Gone

Colin Nettelbeck
Wednesday, 24 October 2012
An imperfectly remembered life is a useless treachery.
Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna

When my American mother-in-law died, the world financial markets went into a tail-spin. Melba was her name; her own mother, who migrated from Italy to New England in the late nineteenth century, was an oper ...

2012 Calibre Prize (Winner): Body and Soul

Matt Rubinstein
Thursday, 30 August 2012

The most precious manuscript held by the Royal Irish Academy is RIA MS 12 R 33, a sixth-century book of psalms known as an Cathach (‘The Battler’), or the Psalter of St Columba. It is believed to be the oldest extant Irish psalter, the earliest example of Irish writing – and the world’s oldest pirate copy. According to tradition, St Columba secretly transcri ...

2011 Calibre Prize (winner): 'Who Killed Matilda?'

Moira McKinnon
Tuesday, 28 June 2011

I am a doctor. Once I was a doctor of individuals, now I am a ‘doctor of populations’. Population health is about actions to improve the health of communities, nations, and the world. Challenges are many: the mobility and density of populations, contemporary desires and pressures, the safety of food in complex systems, poverty, the immense power of big businesse ...

2011 Calibre Prize (Winner): The Death of the Writer

Dean Biron
Wednesday, 20 April 2011

In February 1878 in Marseilles, France, Józef Teodor Konrad Nałęcz Korzeniowski, a twenty-year-old Polish seafarer tormented by depression, lifted a revolver to his chest and pulled the trigger. The suicide attempt failed: the bullet, whether by chance or design, penetrated the young man’s body without disrupting any vital organ. Korzeniowski recovered quickly ...

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