A new collection of fiction, nonfiction, essays and poetry is fostering cultural exchange.
A series of residencies and workshops at RMIT has led to the development of The Near and the Far, a new book featuring work from 21 writers in the Asia-Pacific region.
WrICE, a research program of residencies, workshops and events, was established to build an international network of writers to foster intercultural conversations, celebrate cultural diversity, and change the stories we tell and listen to.
Edited by RMIT Associate Professors Francesca Rendle-Short and David Carlin, both in the School of Media and Communication, the new book features Australian writers appearing alongside authors from Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.
Rendle-Short, who is co-director of the non/fictionLab said this collection of writing is from established and emerging writers in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.
“The book includes new work from well-known and award-winning Australian authors such as Melissa Lucashenko, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Cate Kennedy, Omar Musa, and Jennifer Down, with a foreword by Alice Pung,“ Rendle-Short said.
Carlin, who is Deputy Dean of Communication said "The Near and the Far introduces Australian readers to some of the wonderful writers and writing from our region, including Suchen Christine Lim, Xu Xi, Alvin Pang and Bernice Chauly.
"Too often we still look to Europe and North America, and don’t discover what else is going on in the different worlds of contemporary writing," Carlin said.
Writer Sophie Cunningham, who has just been welcomed as RMIT’s Adjunct Professor in non/fictionLab, said the book presents "such a diverse group of strong writers, working across such a variety of styles.
“The writers are setting down their truths, while learning others,” Cunningham said.
Published in August by Scribe Publications, the book has already received critical acclaim in national newspapers and trade publications as significantly connecting Australian writing and literature to our nearest neighbours.
The Near and the Far was launched at the recent Melbourne Writers’ Festival in addition to an announcement of the WrICE 2017 participants, who include the much-loved and well established Melbourne author Christos Tsiolkas and award-winning Indigenous Australian writer Ellen van Neerven.
The Near and the Far is published by and available through Scribe Publications, and is also available in bookstores now.
WrICE is generously supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.
Story: Wendy Little, Ronnie Scott and Ali Barker