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Maxine Beneba Clarke wins 2014 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship

Maxine Beneba Clarke has won the 2014 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship.

Clarke was announced as the winner at a Writers Victoria event in Melbourne on 11 March. Writers Victoria said in a statement that Clarke will use the $10,000 fellowship to research her family’s migration path from the Caribbean to Australia for her memoir The Hate Race.

‘The opportunity to research and re-trace my family’s migration path will not only be momentous on a personal and emotional level, but will, I hope, result in a work of nonfiction which significantly contributes toward contemporary post-slavery dialogue on race, migration, colour, ancestry, genocide and the various places we think of as home,’ said Clarke.

Clarke’s project was selected from a shortlist that also included projects by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan; Rodney James; Ruth Starke; Warren Ward; Michelle Potter; Nadia Wheatley; and Sylvia Martin. The prize was judged by Janine Burke and Jim Davidson, who both spoke at the event, along with Della Rowley and Lynn Buchanan. Burke said Clarke’s writing ‘fearlessly explores a fresh perspective on ethnicity in Australia with humour and energy’.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, Clarke won the 2013 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript for her short-story collection Foreign Soil in May 2013. Soon after, Clarke signed a three-book deal with Hachette to publish The Hate Race along with Foreign Soil, which will be published in May, and her debut novel Asphyxiation.

The Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship was established in 2011 by the Hazel Rowley Literary Fund, with the support of Writers Victoria, to encourage Australian authors to attain a high standard of biography writing and to commemorate the life, ideas and writing of Hazel Rowley, who died in 2011Last year’s winner was Stephany Steggall for her biography of author Thomas Keneally.

For more information about the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, visit the Writers Victoria website here.



Category: Local news