Volume 3, No. 1, February 2016
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Welcome to the first issue of Writers in Conversation for 2016. As ever, we are delighted to include here a range of writers who are truly global, hailing from Poland, Denmark, Jamaica and Australia; a mixture of poets, novelists and academics, with many awards won between them. We feel privileged!
The journal is now in its third year and we'd like to thank everyone who reads and enjoys the interviews, and of course those who work so hard at putting the interviews together. Remember - we are always looking for contributions, so don't hesitate to contact us.
The interviews in this issue address many very topical questions about writing and politics in the global arena. We have very much enjoyed putting the issue together, and we hope you enjoy reading it.Gillian Dooley and Nick Turner, Editors
From Volume 4, no. 1, February 2017 Writers in Conversation will be published in Open Journal Systems and this website will no longer be updated.
ItemSébastien Doubinsky in Conversation with Isabelle Petiot( 2016-01-21)Sébastien Doubinsky is a bilingual French writer and academic, born in Paris in 1963. He has been widely published in French and in English. In France, Quién es? and La Trilogie Babylonienne were published by Joelle Losfeld. The Song of Synth and White City were published this year in the United States, respectively by Talos/SKyhorse and Bizarro Pulp Fiction/JournalStone. Doubinsky currently lives in Denmark, where he teaches French literature, culture and history at the French department of Aarhus University.
Item‘Love Where You Live!’ A Conversation with Diana McCaulay( 2016-01-21)Diana McCaulay is an award-winning Jamaican novelist and short-story writer. Her first novel, Dog-Heart (Peepal Tree Press, 2010) won a Gold Medal in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's National Creative Writing Awards (2008), and was shortlisted for the Guyana Prize (2011), the IMPAC Dublin Award (2012) and the Saroyan Prize for International Writing (2012). She won the Regional Prize for the Caribbean Commonwealth Short Story competition in 2012 for ‘The Dolphin Catcher’. Her second novel, Huracan (Peepal Tree Press, 2014) was also shortlisted for Saroyan Prize for International Writing. In April 2014, she won the Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize for a non-fiction work in progress, entitled Loving Jamaica: A Memoir of Place and (Not) Belonging. At the same time she is working on her third novel, which at the time of this interview was tentatively called The Dolphin Catcher. McCaulay is the also founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), focusing on environmental education and advocacy. Before that she worked in the general insurance industry for eighteen years, in various senior management positions. She is a Chartered Insurer qualified by the Chartered Insurance Institute in the United Kingdom. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington, with majors in environmental policy and international development. She served on the Board of Jamaica’s Natural Resources Conservation Authority from 2003 to 2005, and again in 2008, and is a past Chair of the National Environmental Societies Trust and past Vice Chair of the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica. This interview took place in Kingston, Jamaica, June 2015 and was conducted by Russell McDougall. Questions prepared in advance and interspersed contextual notes added after the transcription were prepared in collaboration with Sue Thomas.
ItemTabish Khair in Conversation with Ajay K Chaubey( 2016-01-21)Born in Ranchi and educated up to his MA in Gaya, Tabish Khair, PhD (Copenhagen), DPhil (Aarhus), is a Professor of English in Denmark and the author of a number of acclaimed books. Winner of the All India Poetry Prize, Khair’s novels – The Bus Stopped (2004), Filming (2007) and The Thing About Thugs (2010) – have been shortlisted for awards including the Hindu Prize, Man Asian Prize, DSC Prize for South Asia. His last novel, How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position, was dubbed the ‘best 9/11 novel’ by the New Republic and ‘unmissable’ by the Times. A study by Khair, The New Xenophobia, will be published by Oxford University Press in January 2016. Professor Khair, while being in Denmark, spoke to me through email promptly and positively on several aspects of diaspora, narratives of migration and rationale of ‘brain-drain’ and the theoretical contours of the Indian diaspora in the wake of multiple terrorist attacks in the West.
ItemBilingualism; Creation and Migration; Homes and Nostalgia: Art and Life with Joanna Kurowska: A Polish-American perspective.( 2016-01-21)Joanna Kurowska is the author of seven critically acclaimed volumes of poetry, Stained Glass (coming March 2016); Intricacies (coming November 2015); The Butterfly's Choice (Broadstone Books, 2015); Inclusions (Cervena Barva Press, 2014); The Wall & Beyond (eLectio Publishing, 2013); Obok : Near (Oficyna Literacka, 1999, Poland); and Ściana : The Wall (Wydawnictwo Dolnośląskie, 1997, Poland). Her poems, flash fiction, and scholarly work have been published widely in American and international journals, such as Atticus Review, Bateau, Christianity and Literature, The Conradian (UK), Episteme (India); International Poetry Review, Journal of Religion and the Arts, Kultura (Paris), Levure littéraire, Room Magazine, Slavic & East European Journal, Southern Quarterly, and elsewhere. Kurowska has taught at American Universities, including Indiana University, Bloomington, and the University of Chicago. She is the recipient of scholarly and literary awards, including Bruce Harkness Young Conrad Scholar Award, Kościuszko Foundation Stipend, Pushcart nominations; Jerzy Popiełuszko National Poetry Contest Award; and others. Joanna Kurowska currently works as an independent scholar and writer. Website: http://joanna-kurowska.com
ItemSerendipity: A Conversation with Adrian Mitchell( 2016-01-21)South Australians might still like to claim Adrian Mitchell as one of their own, despite the fact that he now lives in Sydney. An associate professor of English and now Honorary Associate of the University of Sydney, he has published many articles and co-edited several books on Australian literature and historiography. More recently, he has made an impressive contribution to Australian historical non-fiction, beginning with Drawing the Crow (2006), a memoir about Adelaide in the 1950s, and continuing with Dampier’s Monkey: the South Sea Voyages of William Dampier (2010), Plein Airs and Graces: the Life and Times of George Collingridge (2012) and From Corner to Corner: the Line of Henry Colless (2015). Also published in 2015 was a novel, The Profilist: the Notebooks of Ethan Dibble, based on the life of English-born colonial artist Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-1880). Gill came to Adelaide in 1839, three years after its foundation. He worked as an artist in South Australia for more than a decade before heading east to the Victorian goldfields. I hadn’t met Adrian before September 2015 when this conversation took place. But I had read and enjoyed Drawing the Crow when it first appeared, and had been captivated by The Profilist’s wry and poignant depiction of the precarious life of the colonial artist. So I contacted him through his publishers, South Australia’s Wakefield Press, and he agreed to meet me when next we were in the same city at the same time. We recorded this conversation, appropriately, in the State Library of South Australia, where he has spent many hours researching the lives of his subjects.