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Curtin winners at Premier’s Book Awards

Media release

Curtin University lecturer Dr Lucy Dougan and Curtin alumna Brooke Davis have won awards at the 2016 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards, which were announced last night.

Curtin creative writing lecturer, and award-winning poet Dr Lucy Dougan won in the Poetry category for her 2015 book, The Guardians; and bestselling author Brooke Davis, who graduated from Curtin’s School of Media, Culture and Creative Art with a PhD in Philosophy in 2014, won in the WA Emerging Writers category for her book Lost & Found.

Curtin Pro Vice-Chancellor Humanities Professor Alan Dench, said it was fantastic to see Curtin staff and alumni recognised at these prestigious awards.

“We are extremely proud of both Lucy and Brooke, and are delighted that they have been recognised for their outstanding achievements in creative writing,” Professor Dench said.

“The awards reflect Curtin’s strong focus on teaching and research in creative writing and we look forward to continuing to develop new creative talent at the University,” Professor Dench said.

Brooke Davis wrote Lost & Found as part of her Curtin PhD on writing about grief.

The 60,000 word novel, which features characters confronting the untimely loss and death of a loved one in different ways, has received international acclaim and has been sold in 30 countries, with major deals in the United States and Great Britain.

The Premier’s Book Award judges said the book told the charming story of three quirky characters on a journey of search and discovery who, on a road trip across Australia, find much more.

Lucy Dougan’s The Guardians is her fourth poetry collection.

The book, which has also been shortlisted for Premier’s prizes in Queensland and Victoria, explores subjects including bonds between adults and children, humans and animals, and humans and the physical world; the way the past continually intrudes on the present; and the consolations that ‘the wild’ offers to subjects of late modernism.

In total, 792 texts were entered into the 2016 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards, and split into nine categories.

Professor John Kinsella, of the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute, was also shortlisted in the Fiction category for Crow’s Breath, a collection of short stories in WA’s Wheatbelt.