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WINNERS OF THE 2014 VICTORIAN PREMIER’S LITERARY AWARDS
Winner of the Victorian Prize for Literature: Liquid Nitrogen by Jennifer Maiden (Giramondo Publishing)
Award for Poetry: Liquid Nitrogen by Jennifer Maiden (Giramondo Publishing)
In the cool medium of Maiden’s poetry Julia Gillard is considered by her mentor Nye Bevan, Kevin Rudd shares a flight with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Eleanor Roosevelt plays Woody Guthrie for Hillary Clinton. The poems focus on the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, Breivik in Norway, dissidents in Beijing, the protests in Tahrir Square and Gillard’s use of power, alongside tributes to friends and family, the ox and the tiger, music and the power of poetry.
Award for Fiction: Coal Creek by Alex Miller (Allen & Unwin)
Bobby Blue is caught between loyalty to his only friend, Ben Tobin, and his boss, Daniel Collins, the new constable at Mount Hay. Bobby understands the people and the ways of Mount Hay; Collins studies the country as an archaeologist might, bringing his coastal values to the hinterland. Increasingly bewildered and goaded to action by his wife, Constable Collins takes up his shotgun and his Webley pistol to deal with Ben. Bobby’s love for Collins’ willful young daughter Irie is exposed, leading to tragic consequences for them all.
Award for Non-Fiction: Forgotten War by Henry Reynolds (NewSouth Books)
Australia is dotted with memorials to soldiers who fought in wars overseas. Why are there no official memorials or commemorations of the wars that were fought on Australian soil between Aborigines and white colonists? Why is it more controversial to talk about the frontier war now than it was 100 years ago? This powerful book makes it clear that there can be no reconciliation without acknowledging the wars fought on our own soil.
Award for Drama: Savages by Patricia Cornelius (Fortyfivedownstairs)
Savages is a cautionary tale about four friends who embark on the holiday of a lifetime, but their excitement is soured by anger, bitterness and disappointment. The pack forms and the dark side of mateship emerges. This is a tough and frank look at masculinity and the sexual behaviour of men in groups.
Award for Writing for Young Adults: My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg (Allen & Unwin)
My Life as an Alphabet is executed with both humour and heart. We are introduced to Candice Phee: 12 years old, hilariously honest and a little … odd. But she has the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to ensure everyone is happy. So she sets about trying to ‘fix’ all the problems of all the people (and pets) in her life.