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The Giramondo Publishing Company is an independent, Australian, university-based literary publisher of award-winning poetry, fiction and non-fiction, renowned for the quality of its writing, editing and book design.
Giramondo was established in December 1995 in order to publish innovative and adventurous literary work, that might not otherwise find publication because of its subtle commercial appeal; to stimulate exchange between Australian writers and readers and their counterparts overseas; and to build a common ground between the academy and the marketplace.
Initially these aims were expressed through the publication of the literary journal HEAT, which established a national and international reputation as a showcase for contemporary writing from Australia, and from overseas, often in translation. Fifteen issues were published in the first series, from 1996 to 2000, with internal design by Toni-Hope Caten and covers by Harry Williamson. It was followed by the new series of HEAT, designed by Harry Williamson, with twenty-four issues published between 2001 and 2011. The editor for the first two series was Ivor Indyk. The third series of HEAT, edited by Alexandra Christie, launched in a radically new design and format in 2022.
In 2002 the Giramondo Publishing Company began the publication of literary works by individual authors in its Giramondo book imprint, alongside HEAT magazine. Almost immediately, our titles began winning awards. Emma Lew’s collection Anything the Landlord Touches won the 2003 Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry and the Judith Wright Calanthe Award. In the following year Judith Beveridge’s poetry collection Wolf Notes won the Judith Wright Calanthe Award, and also the Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry, in a rare double with Brian Castro’s novel Shanghai Dancing, which received both the Victorian and NSW Premiers’ Literary Awards for Fiction. In 2007, Alexis Wright’s novel Carpentaria won the Miles Franklin Award, and five other prestigious Australian literary prizes. In 2010 Gerald Murnane received The Melbourne Prize in recognition of his body of work – Giramondo has now published eleven of his titles.
In the decade since, our titles have won or been shortlisted for all the major Australian literary prizes, including the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, the Stella Prize, the National Biography Award and the various state Premier’s Awards. Our prize-winning authors also include John Hughes, Evelyn Juers, Lucy Dougan, Alan Wearne, Kate Middleton, Joanne Burns, Lisa Gorton, Robert Gray, Jennifer Maiden, Michelle Cahill, Antigone Kefala, Michael Farrell, Ali Cobby Eckermann and PiO.
Since 2005, HEAT magazine and the Giramondo imprint have been published from the Writing & Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University. One of our early initiatives there was the creation of a workshop for young writers from Western Sydney at the Powerhouse Youth Theatre in Fairfield. This commitment has developed into a distinctive literary movement, with the first generation of writers from the region – Mohammed Ahmad, Felicity Castagna, Luke Carman and Fiona Wright – publishing award-winning books with Giramondo, and the new works of a second generation – Maryam Azam, Yumna Kassab and Rawah Arja – now attracting public attention.
Giramondo is also committed to publishing literary works from overseas in translation. Many of the translations appear in our Southern Latitudes imprint, which is devoted to writers from the Southern Hemisphere – but we also go further afield, to include writers from our region, including China, Vietnam, the Philippines and India, or those whose works are of special relevance to Australian concerns. Our Australian translators include Tiffany Tsao, Chris Andrews, Alice Whitmore and Elizabeth Bryer.
Until recently, all of our books were designed by the award-winning Australian designer Harry Williamson. His masterly typography and striking poster-like covers contributed to Giramondo’s reputation as a quality publisher, and gave it a distinctive visual identity. This tradition of excellence has now been taken up by our new designer Jenny Grigg, whose international portfolio of book designs has won her many awards. She is a lecturer in communication design at RMIT University.
The Giramondo Publishing Company is sponsored by Western Sydney University, and is a recipient of funding from the Australia Council, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.