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Monash University Publishing is now offering 20% discount coupons to staff and students when purchasing via our website: Monash University Publishing.

To save 20% on any of our topical, engaging and informative titles today, use the most relevant of the below coupons (only one may be applied per order) at checkout.
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NOTE: To verify that the order is made by Monash Staff or Students and have any of the above coupons applied we will be requesting that orders are made with a Monash University email address.

By News

ANZSI Indexing Awards and ANZSI John Simkin Medal 2024

Do you know of an excellent index?

 Have you written or published one yourself?

Nominations are now open for the ANZSI Indexing Awards and ANZSI John Simkin Medal 2024. The ANZSI John Simkin Medal recognises an outstanding book index or periodical index compiled in Australia or New Zealand. ‘Highly Commended’ certificates may also be awarded.

Indexes may be nominated by authors, editors, indexers, publishers or readers.

The index nominated must be commercially available and have an imprint date of 2020 or later. The index must have been compiled in Australia or New Zealand, even though the text to which it refers may have been published elsewhere; and the index must be entirely the indexer’s own work. The index should be substantial in size; the subject matter complex; and the language, form and structure should demonstrate the indexer’s expertise in serving the needs of the text and the reader.

The Judging Panel comprises experienced indexers, editors, librarians and/or publishers. The judging process is confidential and nominated indexer names are known only to the Receiving Officer.

A completed nomination form together with a print copy of the book, or a link to the digital file of both book and index, is required. Print books will be returned after judging.

Nomination forms, assessment criteria and lists of previous winners are available at https://www.anzsi.org/about-us/awards/the-john-simkin-medal/

Nominations must be received no later than 5pm AEST, Wednesday 31 July 2024 at GPO Box 2069, Canberra ACT 2601 Australia or (in the case of digital books) by email to the Receiving Officer at receivingofficer@anzsi.org

Nominators who have posted books must advise the Receiving Officer by email that they have done so. All nominations received will be acknowledged by email.

 ANZSI Receiving Officer, receivingofficer@anzsi.org

By News

Midyear appeal – A message from Emeritus Professor Peter McPhee AM

We recognise and support the work of The History Council of Victoria, and as such wish to share a message from Emeritus Professor Peter McPhee AM:

 

The History Council of Victoria has no recurrent funding, and relies on Friends membership fees, tax-deductible donations and, where possible, grants from philanthropic trusts and individuals. I am often struck by the range of activities the History Council is able to sustain with such a modest funding base:

  • the Annual Lecture
  • the free “Making Public History” online discussions and recordings, in conjunction with the Monash University History Program and the Old Treasury Building
  • the “Book + Author” series of live conversations with leading historians
  • our annual History Roadshow for VCE students in regional schools.

We also administer the Jane Hansen Prize for Advocacy and the Lynette Russell Schools Prize for First Peoples’ History.

The History Council continues to be active in advocacy work, including recently on:

  • new guidelines for heritage classification
  • the funding of history programs at universities
  • public involvement in archives policies.

We consistently highlight the value of an education in history and the place of historical literacy in the quality of public life, elaborated in our “Value of History” statement: https://www.historycouncilvic.org.au/value_of_history

We are fortunate to have a Board of talented individuals drawn from cultural and educational institutions and heritage bodies; history teachers; academic and professional historians; and other organisations. These are busy people whose commitment to the place of history in our society nevertheless motivates them to organise, participate in and support our activities.

I hope you will feel able to support our work.

 

Emeritus Professor Peter McPhee AM

Chair

ABIA 2024 Awards Shortlist
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Australian Book Industry Awards 2024 nomination: Small Publisher of the Year

Monash University Publishing is thrilled to announce we have been nominated for the Small Publisher of the Year in the 2024 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) alongside University of Queensland Press, Pantera Press, Magabala Books, Fremantle Press and Rockpool. We were previously nominated in the same category in 2023.
According to the ABIA website “This is an award for the Australian publisher with a turnover of less than $10 million whose publishing programme (including sales, promotion, editorial and production) demonstrated excellence, commensurate with the publisher’s size, in the preceding calendar year, and which has contributed to the overall success of the industry.”
We look forward to the results when the Awards Ceremony takes place on Thursday 9 May at Zinc Fed Square in Melbourne.
In the meantime we’re crossing our fingers and working on delivering a strong range of titles through the year. Find out more about the awards on the official website.

By News

Vanessa Berry reflects on The Shelf Life of Zora Cross

In November 2019, I had the honour of launching The Shelf Life of Zora Cross to a full house in the Gallery Room of the State Library of NSW. Since then, the book has firmly established its position as a landmark work of Australian literary biography. In my address that night I celebrated Cathy’s huge achievement in rendering the complex literary and personal life of Zora Cross, and also reflected on how Zora’s life and work resonates into the present. The Shelf Life of Zora Cross continues to resonate, with its continued successes and enthusiastic readership, and now the publication of the second edition this month. I am excited to present my launch speech from 2019, as I congratulate Cathy on the continued life of her brilliant biography, with the publication of the new edition.

The Shelf Life of Zora Cross, by the esteemed writer, researcher and editor Cathy Perkins, brings Zora Cross – the woman, the writer – to us with immediacy and complexity. The book is not only a significant addition to Australian literary history, but also one that makes strong connections to contemporary life and literary culture. There are many details that strike me about Zora Cross from Perkins’s evocative portrayal of her in Shelf Life: her drive, ambition and appetite for life; her courage and her vigour; her strong sense of vocation – that she lived to write, and that she worked hard to secure the ability to do so. Money, time and space remain crucial, and often hard-won, necessities for writers today, especially women. There was a particular moment early in the book where Zora leapt from the page for me – a description of an encounter with a journalist in Brisbane in 1915, when Zora was working concurrently as a writer, a teacher, an actor and the editor of arts and social newspaper the Bohemian. This life of moving between roles and projects is a familiar scenario for contemporary writers. Then, as now, this way of working requires strong reserves of energy and focus:

One day in 1915, Zora is rushing from a rehearsal at the Tivoli Theatre in central Brisbane to the office of the Bohemian to pick up her editor’s salary when she meets a journalist who will later write a profile on her for the Australian Woman’s Mirror. She is ‘slight and pale and terrific with energy’ and covered in red printer’s ink from the paper’s scarlet masthead, which looks like blood on her white dress.

This image of the young Zora, her dress stained with ink, was so startling it was as if I was meeting her in person: I could feel her energy radiate from the page across time, a testament to Perkins’s skill in drawing from her research the resonant moments of Zora’s life that give the reader a sense of intimacy and direct connection. There were other points where I felt Zora similarly close, such as a much quieter moment from later in her life, at Glenbrook, when she was working on the Roman novel that was her final literary work:

Zora was ‘literally bogged down in Rome’ in the years that followed, April remembers. She would have a 2000-years-away look on her face when the girls came home from school. She might be slightly annoyed that they had pulled her back to the present, but she forgave them when they made her a cup of tea. At the end of each day when the house was quiet, she would pour dried peas or beans into a bowl to soak overnight for the next day’s dinner. Then she would settle down to her typewriter, listening for the stationmaster’s footsteps as he walked the length of the platform to keep himself awake. And she would write.

Again I felt an immediacy, as if I was quietly there in the room too, watching Zora concentrating at her typewriter, older now, but writing with the same intensity of focus and dedication that Perkins presents vividly as Zora’s mode of living and working.

This interweaving of writing and life is at the heart of literary biography. Writers exist in multiple: their written work, their identities as public figures and their private lives. Many readers will discover Zora, who has been a neglected figure in Australian literary history, for the first time in reading Shelf Life. The book’s inventive structure, focusing on the story of Zora’s life and work through the relationships that sustained, drove and influenced her, show how strongly she was enmeshed in Australian cultural and literary life, even if her name is not widely known today.

With Shelf Life, Perkins has brought Zora Cross to new generations of readers, and taken us into not only Zora’s life and literary works, but also into the archives, locations and personal connections that preserve her traces. This, to me, was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the book – following the paper trail of Zora’s life through newspapers, letters and manuscripts, entering the archives with Perkins as she pieces Zora’s life story together.

In one of the early chapters the phrase ‘material legacy’ stood out to me. It’s used in reference to the collection of letters received from authors by critic and editor Bertram Stevens: Zora’s letters to him, as Perkins describes, are intimate outpourings and have the effect of a diary as much as correspondence:

They’re not business letters, nor are they love letters; often they read more like a diary. Because many are undated, the order in the volume is mixed up, so the sense of intimacy begins on the first page. These outpourings chart Zora’s progress from a teacher who writes in the evenings, to a touring actress who writes on trains and mountain tops, to a recognised author who writes all the time. They are ‘notorious and shocking’, she admits, because she writes with a lack of inhibition caused by youth, grief and distance.

I thought about Zora writing these letters – the intensity of her communication, most likely without thought of the words ever being read by anyone beyond the recipient. Those who have done archival research involving personal letters will know the odd, otherworldly feeling of reading them. It is like listening in on a private conversation, but also listening back through time. In Shelf Life, Perkins draws on the energy and intimacy of these letters, and in doing so she brings these qualities to our reading.

While reading Shelf Life, I thought of a line from Beverley Farmer, who wrote in 1987, reflecting on her reading of The Persimmon Tree by Marjorie Barnard, ‘It means very much to me, the invisible network of women reading each other’s work and cherishing it.’ The idea of the ‘invisible network’ has stuck with me, and came up when I was reading Shelf Life, which is very much about visibility, about networks and about women writers, including the kinds of relationships that come about between women who write. I thought particularly of Zora and Perkins here, and the relationship they have across time. Here there is a relationship between a biographer and her subject, but also a relationship between women and between writers.

In Shelf Life, we are also led to consider how Zora’s memory and legacy have both persisted and become hidden. I’m sure all of us have wondered, at some point in our lives, what of us might remain into the future, after we have passed away. How might we persist in social or cultural memory? One way is through our families: our children and their descendants. Zora lives on in her family – her grandchildren and their children. Another way that our legacy persists is through our work: the books we might write, trees we might plant, students we might teach, ideas we might shape, decisions we might make that go on to impact the future.

Writers are given to wondering what of their words might live on into the future – some more than others, as we see in Shelf Life (I love the image of the 97-year-old Dame Mary Gilmore at the very end of her life, asking her niece, ‘Has everything gone to the Mitchell?’) As a writer who has manuscripts in the State Library collection I sometimes wonder who might, potentially, in a century’s time request to look at them, and the books and artworks that I have made. The thought of these works living on after I am gone, having captured something of life in Sydney in the early twenty-first century, reminds me of the power of writing to connect us across time, and that writing can be a way of speaking to the future.

As we gather here in the library tonight we might cast our imaginations back 100 years, to think of Zora Cross in the Mitchell Library reading room, researching her lectures on Australian literature for Sydney Teacher’s College. Or the student Zora, coming to the library in the evenings to read and study. We might think of Zora’s books and her letters in boxes in the stacks. Then returning to the present, we celebrate Cathy Perkins’s The Shelf Life of Zora Cross, which has allowed us to enter so richly into the life of this prolific and inspiring writer.

Dr Vanessa Berry, writer, artist and lecturer, University of Sydney

 

Authors 2024
By News

See our authors at a festival near you

  • Adelaide Writers’ Week (2-7 March) Richard King, Richard Denniss and John Lyons 
  • Manly Writers’ Festival (14-16 March): Kim Cornish, Maggie Kirkman, Tracey Kirkland and Gavin Fang, Lachlan Strahan
  • Clunes Booktown (23-24 March): Sandra Goldbloom Zurbo with Jeff Sparrow and Boris Frankel
  • Sorrento Writers’ Festival 2024 (26-29 April): confirmed authors: Richard King, Lucinda Holdforth, Dave Witty, Inala Cooper, John Lyons, Michael Gawenda
  • Brisbane Writers’ Festival (30 May-2 June): Richard King, Ian Lowe, Lucinda Holdforth, Dave Witty, Satyajit Das
  • Words in Winter (29 June): Sandra GoldBloom Zurbo
Kate Morgan, Sarah Cannon, Joanne Mullins, Elly Gridland, Malcolm Neil, Julia Carlomagno with newborn baby and Kayla Willson
By News

Meet our new staff members

 

Monash University Publishing team with booksWe are delighted to announce various staff changes at Monash University Publishing in 2024.

Malcolm Neil has been appointed as Interim Director while Julia Carlomagno is on maternity leave (and has welcomed a lovely baby boy).

Malcolm has over 30 years’ experience in the publishing and content industry, and most recently was Head of Sales and Marketing at Melbourne University Publishing.

Greg Bain continues as Publisher of the In the National Interest series.

Stephen Campbell is Stock and Sales Coordinator, while Elly Cridland has been appointed Publishing Officer.

Having almost completed her studies at Swinburne University, Kayla Willson has started with us as our full-time Intern.

Kate Morgan, Sarah Cannon, Joanne Mullins and Les Thomas complete the team.

More information can be found here.

We’re looking forward to introducing you to an exciting line-up of books, author events including many writers’ festivals, launches and more. You can sign up for our enews and follow us on our socials.

 

2023 Australian Political Book of the Year Award longlist tile
By News

Lockdown longlisted for the Australian Political Book of the Year Award

We are thrilled that Lockdown by Chip Le Grand has been longlisted for the 2023 Australian Political Book of the Year Award.

The longlist has been decided by the Award’s distinguished judging panel Laura Tingle, and John Warhurst AO, and new judge, Barrie Cassidy. The longlist are those books published during the 2022–23 financial year that the judges believe provide the most compelling contribution to understanding Australian political events and debates.

The following books have made the 2023 longlist:

  • Bulldozed by Nikki Savva, published by Scribe Publications
  • Crossing the Line by Nick McKenzie, published by Hachette Australia
  • Dreamers and Schemers by Frank Bongiorno, published by La Trobe University Press
  • Black Lives, White Laws by Russell Marks, published by La Trobe University Press
  • Australia’s China Odyssey by James Curran, published by NewSouth Publishing
  • Political Lives by Chris Wallace, published by NewSouth Publishing
  • The Queen is Dead by Stan Grant, published by Harper Collins
  • The Passion of Private White by Don Watson, published by Simon and Schuster
  • Trump’s Australia by Bruce Wolpe, published by Allen & Unwin
  • Lockdown by Chip Le Grand, published by Monash University Publishing

The Australian Political Book of the Year Award judges said the longlist is extraordinary for the breadth and variety it brings to political discourse.

‘Not only does it include in depth historical context, but it covers the recent federal election, the politics of the pandemic, war crimes and issues like foreign policy, indigenous affairs and the monarchy,’ said the judges.

The shortlist will be announced in Melbourne on Thursday 12 October, where each author to have their book shortlisted will receive $1000.

The winner will be announced by the Treasurer of Australia, the Hon Dr Jim Chalmers MP, on Wednesday 25 October at the National Press Club of Australia in Canberra.

Tim McNamara
By News

Vale Tim McNamara

It is with great sadness that we farewell Tim McNamara (1949–2023), who passed away on Friday 15 September at the Bethlehem Hospital in Melbourne.

Tim had a highly successful international career in applied linguistics and was a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne, where he established the Melbourne Graduate Program in Applied Linguistics in 1987 and the Language Testing Research Centre in 1990, the latter emerging over the course of thirty years as the world’s leading independent research centre in this field. From 2017 to 2018 Tim served as president of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, before retiring in 2018. In 2021 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service. His work on language and identity over the course of his esteemed career culminated in his landmark book Language and Subjectivity (2019).

In addition to his academic achievements, Tim engaged with many colleagues and friends in a very personal way and opened possibilities for a fuller understanding of people’s different cultures and individuality. Sadly, he did not live to hold a copy of his last achievement, his upcoming book, Paul and Paula, which we are honoured to be publishing in December 2023, but he has left us all with this legacy.

Image courtesy of Patricia A. Haim

By News

Verge 2023 launch speech by Peter Rose

Peter Rose

Peter Rose

I’m pleased to have an opportunity to speak at the launch of this welcome new publication from Monash University Publishing.

Australian Book Review is a partner of Monash University through its Faculty of Arts. It’s a partnership that has grown since its creation in 2016 – and one we take seriously – through publication of Monash staff and students (some included in this anthology), through talks and publishing masterclasses, and through an active internship program. So we’re attuned to what’s going on at Monash, and we follow publications from its press with interest.

I understand this is the seventeenth edition of Verge. That’s an impressive history for any publication. So Verge has been verging, as it were, for almost two decades. I’m all for verging and indeed divergence. Anything that showcases emerging and established artists is to be welcomed. Verge does this well. It’s somewhat unusual among publications of this type because of its integration of work by current students and of those with established publication records. That’s a journal and an anthology’s responsibility – to spotlight the established, the assured, but also to nurture the young, the emerging, the innovators.

This policy of integration a good thing. We know what a fillip it is for young writers to appear in journals and compilations along with writers they admire.

My poetry first appeared in 1985 in a magazine called Scripsi – conceived just around the corner at Ormond College. What a buzz it was to see my callow poems appearing alongside works by laurelled poets such as John Ashbery, Peter Porter, Laurie Duggan, August Kleinzahler (they were nearly all blokes in those days).

That buzz never really goes away whenever work appears in print, however many poems or books one has published. Last week I received my copy of the new Meanjin, which carries another of my Catullan satires. I felt the same kind of frisson I experienced back in 1985. I don’t think I’m alone. Publication in permanent print form has a unique cachet.

There’s a sense of connection – gratification that the work formerly so private, so vested, so precious yet so ambiguous and elusive, is finally making its own way, beyond one’s own fretting and possessiveness. Text transcends the author, as it should.

I indulge in this slightly confessional mode merely to highlight what I see as the primary role of this kind of publication – which is one of connection and inclusiveness. Authors are not necessarily very trusting or inclusive people. Publication may be the auction of the mind (as Emily Dickinson wrote) but it also bridges the gap between author and reader.

How vital these publications are in 2023 – and how laudable it is that Monash University Publishing goes on investing in and promulgating this ensemble publishing.

Works of this kind – like journals and magazines – are indispensable components of what we are sometimes encouraged to think of as the literary ecology. Right now – during the age of Covid and at a time when recession threatens – journals, like artists in general, are doing it particularly tough. We know how grim the past three years have been for writers and artists. The data about incomes and security are bleak – shaming too for such a wealthy and educated country.

This makes the federal government’s newly released national cultural policy even more critical. All eyes are on Revive, and I am sure we wish the federal government and the Australia Council as it seeks to shape the new Writers Australia. Much will depend on how much money is restored to the pitifully underfunded federal arts budget – one that actively discriminates against literature. I don’t need to remind this audience that Australia Council of literature has been bogged at $5 million dollars for three decades. Three decades! At the risk sounding like Gilbert and Sullivan – it would be hilarious if it weren’t so deleterious.

Now, government has a chance to redress this historical neglect. And here – to my mind – not just publishers and gatekeepers (if that’s what we are) – we all have an opportunity and a responsibility to lobby government and the Australia Council to ensure that past neglect of literature is overturned and that the journals and publishers that nurture young writers and pay them fairly are supported.

But we’re here of course to talk about Verge – not governments and financial exigencies.

Verge is edited by Samuel Bernard, Thomas Rock and Vera Yingzhi Gu. In their introduction they note:

Defiance is too often associated with rebellion, insurrection or revolution, though the act is exquisitely heterogeneous. For Verge’s 2023 issue, we challenged writers to ponder this timely and universal concept.

The results are promisingly multifarious. The contributors – all 31 of them – write about forms of resistance and defiance – from the domestic to the planetary. There are stories and poems about domestic challenges, gender issues, the perils of identity, and what Cameron Semmens in his poem ‘Exiting the Forest’ calls ‘the crawling fear of environmental apocalypse’.

But defiance takes many forms – some active, political – others moral, instinctual, epistemological.

While I have written in other forms (fiction, memoir, criticism), I have devoted much of the past forty years to poetry – without ever really stopping to consider why I actually write the stuff; what it is that motivates me; what it is I am trying to effect. Here, I am rather like Thom Gunn, who once wrote: ‘I am interested in individual poems, not in poetics.’

Only lately have I begun to reflect on the properties and dispensations of poetry.

Each poem, each donnée, each poetic state surely represents a kind of refusal – a retreat from conventional ways of perceiving life, family, nature, relationships, society, mortality.

What are we doing as poets when we succumb to a poem but seeking unique metaphors for reality – ones never shared, never conceived before, too weird for public circulation.

‘Étonné-moi’, the impresario Diaghilev famously exhorted Jean Cocteau – and that was a good century ago. Surely it’s the artist’s duty to astonish us – not to echo, not to reinforce, not to concur. There is far too much yea-saying in this country. This is such a conformist age, when politicians and admen and social media zealots and corporate masters exhort us to think and act in certain ways, not to rock the boat, to express ourselves along certain lines. What a betrayal of intellectual freedom and the artistic life.

I am in total agreement with W.H. Auden, who declared: ‘Alienation from the Collective is always a duty.’

Albert Camus once said, ‘The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude’. Sometimes I fear that even worse forms of subservience and intimidation are loose in the twenty-first century.

Another quote (I am very quotatious tonight!) – from Wallace Stevens, one of the great poets of the twentieth century. It comes from his collection of epigrams called Adagia – indispensable reading for any poet: ‘The imagination wishes to be indulged.’

So let’s indulge it – and celebrate it.

Angela Jones has a poem in Verge and it contains a wonderful refrain – ‘Oh, the places you won’t go’, she repeats. I suppose my small point is that there are no places where writers shouldn’t venture – however private, subversive, imaginary.

I will end with a quote from James Baldwin – boldest of social critics – most eloquent of twentieth-century American writers. He wrote:

‘All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story, to vomit the anguish up.’

Telling the whole story, yes, vomiting it up – not just half of it either, and certainly not the savoury or orthodox bits – is a writers’ responsibility. It’s the promise of such that admirable publications like Verge enable writers and thus readers to explore.

I wish it every success, and I congratulate everyone associated with this edition.

Readings, Carlton, 21 March 2023

  • Verge 2023

    Samuel Bernard, Thomas Rock and Vera Yingzhi Gu
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