Creative practice researchers in the School of Media and Communication have received RMIT Research Awards for excellence and impact in their research.
non/fictionLab members Jessica Wilkinson and Stayci Taylor are the recipients of the RMIT Award for Research Impact (Design category), and the RMIT Prize for Research Excellence (Design Category) respectively.
RMIT’s Research Awards recognise significant contributions to research excellence and impact by RMIT staff researchers, and higher degree by research candidates and graduates. Both Wilkinson and Taylor have shown dedication to creative and research practice gaining international recognition.
A world-leading centre for new creative practices, RMIT’s non/fictionLab builds and supports laboratories of practice. Partnering with writers and scholars, this research group promotes investigations into how the world talks to and through creative practices. Both Wilkinson and Taylor have been able to further their research by engaging with the non/fictionLab, in the form of partnerships and residencies.
Wilkinson is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT. A poet and scholar, she advocates the potential for poetry to convey and explore historical and real-world subject matter. Her contributions to society and culture, in addition to academia, have seen her recognised with RMIT’s Award for Research Impact.
Wilkinson explores nonfiction poetry in both her research and creative practices. Organising the poetry-specific panels at the three most recent NonfictioNOW conferences, held in Melbourne, Arizona and Iceland, Wilkinson has brought attention to this literary field on national and international scales.
Wilkinson’s existing works of poetic biography examine the margins of literary histories and biographies, demanding extensive archival and critical research. Her work-in-progress, Music Made Visible: A Biography of George Balanchine, was supported by the highly prestigious Martin Bequest Travelling Scholarship, enabling Wilkinson to carry out the comprehensive site-based and archival research necessary to complete the book.
Dedicated to making contributions to literary culture, Wilkinson founded the journal Rabbit: A Journal for Nonfiction Poetry, considered a pioneer in the field. The journal engages Australian and international communities, to explore and interrogate the boundaries of non-fiction writing, allowing poets to participate with aspects of the real-world experience, recollection and interpretation.
Rabbit: A Journal for Nonfiction Poetry partner’s with RMIT’s non/fictionLab, publishing interviews with Lab residents and writers. Forthcoming issues for the publication are the Jazz Issue and the Youth Issue, the latter guest edited by students from RMIT’s Bowen Street Press (part of the Masters of Publishing and Editing Program run by non/fictionLab member Tracy O’Shaughnessy).
Stayci Taylor is an Industry Fellow and Lecturer with the Media program at RMIT. Her research practice is that of screenwriting-as-research, an approach to creative practice which is receiving growing global attention. She has been awarded the RMIT Prize for Research Excellence (Design Category), for achieving the highest levels of excellence in research during the completion of her degree, producing both a process and a product in the form of a screenplay.
Taylor’s creative practice PhD considers at length the ways in which screenwriting is research, providing a discourse on methodology, with a particular focus female perspectives and minority representation in mainstream film and television. Her PhD, funny/peculiar: creative practice approach to flipping perspectives for female protagonists in comedy screenplays, contributes to academic discourses of comedy and gender, facilitated by its creative practice process.
Taylor has been recognised with awards such as the Higher Degree by Research Publishing Grant, as well as a LEAD endorsement for valuable contribution to quality of student life. Internationally, Taylor has twice received the Early Development Fund from the New Zealand Film Commission who will develop the lecturer’s next screenplay. As a working screenwriter, Taylor was invited to join the jury at the 2017 Melbourne Webfest, Australia’s largest international web series festival.
In 2016 Taylor completed a residency at the non/fictionLab’s Urban Writing House. The residency provided Taylor a dedicated space to further develop her PhD, and to present work to a real-world audience at the concluding Spotlight Event.
As members of RMIT’s non/fictionLab both Wilkinson and Taylor have furthered their creative research practices gaining industry recognition. This has seen both members receive a number of awards for their additions to research and academia.
The RMIT Research Awards will be presented at a ceremony in February 2018. Wilkinson will be awarded $3000 cash prize to complete research for her third work of poetic biography, Music Made Visible: A Biography of George Balanchine (to be published by Vagabond Press in 2019). Taylor will receive a $1500 award for her excellence in research.
Story: Loni Jeffs