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Curtin writers shortlisted for Premier’s Book Awards

Media release

Two Curtin academics and an alumna have been shortlisted for the 2016 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.

Highly-regarded writer, Professor John Kinsella of the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute, has been shortlisted in the Fiction category for Crow’s Breath, a collection of short stories set in WA’s Wheatbelt.

Curtin creative writing lecturer, and award-winning poet Dr Lucy Dougan is shortlisted 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, is shortlisted in the WA Emerging Writers category for her book Lost & Found.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Humanities Professor Alan Dench, said the nomination of three Curtin-related authors demonstrated, as in previous years, how many of the State’s leading creative artists worked at Curtin.

“It’s wonderful to have three colleagues, two staff members and one former PhD student shortlisted for such prestigious awards, recognising their writing achievements,” Professor Dench said.

“We are extremely proud of our creative arts programs and research, and we wish the nominees the best of luck for the final awards ceremony in October.”

John Kinsella is a novelist, poet, essayist, critic and vocal activist whose work is strongly influenced by the WA landscape and ecology.

He is a prodigious producer of work, with more than 30 published books, and his poems have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker and The Times Literary Supplement.

Crow’s Breath was published in 2015.

In announcing the finalists for the WA Premier’s Book Awards, the judges said that in telling the book’s series of vignette-like stories, the narrator related intimate knowledge of the lives of country folk.

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 now been shortlisted for Premier’s prizes in Queensland, Victoria and WA, 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, which are split into nine categories.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 3 October 2016.