We are delighted to have three authors on the shortlist this year for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Fiction

The Swan Book, Alexis Wright

The judges described The Swan Book as:

A work of metaphysical and metaphorical originality, Wright has created a world where communication flows between ghosts, animals and humans, but it’s also frighteningly realistic, holding a mirror to the nation, allowing fiction to speak a truth about Indigenous issues that many Australian find difficult to confront. For all its gravity, though, it is wickedly funny, mocking the ‘realms of public sector abstract dialogue’, and it deepens the reader’s understanding of this ancient continent.

Poetry

Autoethnographic, Michael Brennan

Of Autoethnographic the judges said:

Brennan’s poems skate over the narrator’s plural and imagined pasts in unpredictable tones, echoing and vital. As autoethnography itself places the personal in the wider politicised world, so Brennan creates an un-unified un-stabilised life rendered through many lives, a cubist portrait of self / selves in vivid excursions through a mythologised yet recognisably contemporary era.

Liquid Nitrogen, Jennifer Maiden

In their citation, the judges wrote:

This book is explorative, not didactic, and these long poetical essays are studded with interruptions, repetitions of motifs and characters, and tangential obsessions that create a distinct world and rhythm, where art and politics insistently coalesce in vibrant tableaux. A brilliantly fertile imagination creates poetry that interrogates and refines thought.

For the full citations and the complete shortlist, click here.