Friday, May 8, 2015

somewhere on your street

somewhere on your street
there is a mother
who kept her children home from school
tuesday of last week
who couldn/t scratch the dollar fifty / each
to send with them
to the stall
who paid a day of education
to erase their shame
who saved them from
comparing empty hands
with flowered flannels / embossed lavender soap
and silver photo frames
somewhere in your city
there are children
holding hand-made cards
collages cut from old target catalogues
who want to give the world / and are
too young to understand
the unconditional nature
of their own mother/s love

somewhere in your neighbourhood
is a woman who / for ten days
has been hiding the last three eggs
at the back
of the barely working fridge
tomorrow morning
she will use french toast
and sugar sprinkles
to sticky the apologies
from her two boys eyes
she will trim the mould
from the edges of
begged baker-cast-off bread
& say
it doesn't matter
all i really need
is a smile

in a damp terrace house
just across the motorway
is a woman who can/t shake 
the cold she/s had for nineteen days
who will wake up anyway
frozen toed
from lack of autumn heat
let her daughter snuggle in her bed
and beat back the chesty hack
to  re-energise dr suess

there is a woman
right across the road / from you
so consumed
by landlord/s letters
empty shelves / shadows
beneath her child’s eyes
the blind trust 
in every infant gaze
that she will not even notice
it is mother/s day

Sunday, April 19, 2015

All's Rosie

Six months after our evening at Rotunda, we meet at Carlton’s hip new bar Heartattack and Vine, run by friend and fellow Melbourne writer Emily Bitto, in that six-degrees-of-publication way the City of Literature can often be. 
Simsion smiles a greeting as I pull out a seat. 
“Ask me something penetrating!” he begs hopefully, with the frustration of a man who’s answered one too many Good Housekeeping author quizzes. 

My portrait of bestselling Australian author Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project; The Rosie Effect) appears in this weekend's Saturday Paper. Read the full portrait here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The 'F' Word - in conversation with Roxane Gay

Video from an interview I did with Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist; An Untamed State) at The Wheeler Centre, as part of the 'F Word' series I'm hosting at the centre throughout 2015. Find out more about the event series here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2015 ABIA Award Shortlist.

I'm surprised, and very very excited that Foreign Soil is shortlisted for two ABIA awards:
Matt Richell Award for a New Writer; and
Literary Fiction Book of The Year
Shortlists for all award categories can be viewed here.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dobbie Award Longlist

I'm thrilled to announce that Foreign Soil has been longlisted in the Kibble Awards, for the Dobbie Award for a debut book. Details of the longlist here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


The Book Club

On March 31st I had the absolute pleasure of appearing on ABC television's The Book Club. Regulars Jennifer Byrne, Jason Steger, Marieke Hardy, and guest Zoe Daniels (Foreign Correspondent journalist, and author of Storyteller) and I reviewed Roxane Gay's An Untamed State (here) and an Australian classic, Sally Morgan's My Place (here).

Friday, March 27, 2015

Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction

I'm absolutely ecstatic to announce that Foreign Soil has won the 2015 Indie Book Award for debut fiction. Congratulations also to Sonya Hartnett (Fiction Winner, The Golden Boys), Don Watson (Non fiction winner &  Book of The Year, The Bush) and Judith Rossell (Childrens & YA winner Withering By Sea).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bad Feminist

 This woman does neutral-face like nobody’s business, and I’m all but convinced she’s turning her dead-eye on me as I walk nervously down the stairs of the wide, empty auditorium. Dark eyes pierce out of her expressionless birch-tone face. Sporadic silver streaks glint through dark you-can’t-fool-another-sister-that-there-isn’t-afro-hair-in-fast-need-of-salon-heat hair.

The Haitian-American is wearing jeans the kind of indigo blue you only get in new denim. Her horizontal-striped shirt has pretty rose pink woven into the mix – even though she was once afraid this hue might not be feminist enough. She’s all bags-beneath-the-eyes-cause-I’ve-been-on-the-road-some-god-awful-while. She’s melodic voice, ample bust and cherubic face. Her expression cracks as I draw closer, into that mischievous half-smile from all the book-jacket photos – that almost-a-smirk, as if maybe she knows some big embarrassing secret about me, and is right now deciding whether or not to tell the world...

My portrait of Bad Feminist author Roxane Gay appeared in last weekend's Saturday Paper, and can be read in full here.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Stella Prize Shortlist

I'm absolutely thrilled that Foreign Soil is one of six books shortlisted for the 2015 Stella Prize.

The Stella Prize celebrates Australian women’s contribution to literature. It was awarded for the first time in 2013 to Carrie Tiffany for Mateship with Birds. In 2014, the winner was Clare Wright for The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka. The prize is worth $50,000, and both fiction and nonfiction books are eligible for entry. This year, shortlisted authors will each receive prize money of $2000, courtesy of the Nelson Meers Foundation.
From more than 150 entries, this year’s Stella Prize judges – critic and writer Kerryn Goldsworthy (chair); journalist and broadcaster Caroline Baum; writer and lecturer Tony Birch; singer–songwriter Sarah Blasko; and acclaimed author Melissa Lucashenko – selected a longlist of twelve books that they have now narrowed down to a shortlist of six. Details here.