Day wins 2021 Nature Writing Prize
Gregory Day has won the 2021 Nature Writing Prize for his work ‘The Watergaw’.
Dave Witty was highly commended for ‘The Lone Tree of Mackay’, and Michael Bradley received an honourable mention for ‘Crocodile Country’.
Day is a winner of the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, the Elizabeth Jolley Prize, and his latest novel, A Sand Archive, was shortlisted for the 2019 Miles Franklin Award. In 2020, he received the Patrick White Award.
Miles Franklin award-winning author Tara June Winch, who judged the prize with the Australian chief literary critic Geordie Williamson, said Day’s essay was ‘striking for its nuance and accomplishment in expressing nostalgia, and the language of belonging to a place. A beautiful and subtle work’.
Winch described Witty’s highly commended piece as ‘an informative inquiry into Queensland’s history of slavery and bondage on the sugarcane fields, written with gentle meditative control’ and said Bradley’s essay, which received an honourable mention, was ‘written with depth and a strong literary quality, investigating predator and prey in the north’.
The Nature Conservancy Australia Nature Writing Prize was created to promote and celebrate the art of nature writing in Australia as well as to encourage a greater appreciation of Australia’s landscapes.
Day receives $7500 prize money and his work will be published in Griffith Review online as a multimedia essay. Witty receives the Rosina Joy Buckman Award, which is a two-week residency at Life at Springfield, in the NSW Southern Highlands.
Past recipients include Annamaria Weldon, Stephen Wright, Nick Gadd, Sophie Cunningham, Jenny Sinclair and Sue Castrique.
For more information, see the Nature Conservancy Australia website.
Pictured: Gregory Day