Warm Winter Words #1: Tony Birch

This is a special episode brought to you in collaboration with the Apollo Bay Word Fest and their Warm Winter Words event that usually takes place in the Mechanics Hall at Apollo Bay on a Sunday afternoon in July surrounded by the bookish community.

We encourage listeners to sit back and enjoy these interviews as they would be heard usually in the Mechanics Hall at Apollo Bay – begin with Tony, continue with Lucy Treloar and finish with Michael Veitch.

To accompany your listening, we encourage you to read the books of these writers, which you can find at Readings Books, partner of the festival.

Tony Birch is a novelist, short story writer, poet and academic. He is the author of three novels: Ghost River, which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and his latest novel The White Girl, winner of the 2020 NSWs Premier’s Prize for Indigenous writing and also shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award this year. 

He is also the author of Shadowboxing and three short story collections, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. In 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. Tony is creative writing teacher, a frequent contributor to ABC local and national radio, a regular guest at writers’ festivals, and a climate justice campaigner. He lives in Melbourne.

Influential poetry

Alice Walker, Anne Sexton, Pi O – (Tony thinks 24 Hours is the most important book of poetry ever written in Australia), Charles Reznikoff, Samuel Wagan Watson, Ellen Van Neerven, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Natalie Harkin

Recommended reading

Tara June Winch – The Yield

Alexis Wright – Tracker

Per PettersonIn the Wake, Out Stealing Horses, I refuse

Alistair MacLeod – Island: collected stories

The Warm Winter Words event at Apollo Bay Word Fest is supported by Writers Victoria and the Grace Marion Wilson Trust.

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