Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowships 2017: Introducing the Fellows (round three)

Our Hot Desk Fellowships are designed to give writers space and time to complete their projects. The programme is supported by the Readings Foundation – with an additional Playwright Hot Desk Fellowship offered to an emerging female playwright, sponsored by the Just Pretending theatre group. 

Each winner will receive a desk of their own at the Wheeler Centre for two months, plus a $1000 stipend. Find out who's been selected, and read what the third intake of Fellows have to say about the projects they'll be working on.

Hot Desk graphic

So far this year, we've seen two intakes of Hot Desk Fellows working on their projects at the Wheeler Centre. Today, we welcome our third intake for the year.

Here’s a short introduction to the writers and projects who'll be taking up Hot Desks this week, finishing up Friday 24 November.


Ingrid Baring, White Safa (memoir)

When my father died in 1964 I was swaddled on the back of my black nanny. I returned to South Africa for the first time 50 years later – having grown up in Australia. White Safa is an address to my father and an ode to my two countries both scarred by their colonial past.  

Alexandra Collier, Together (theatre)

Set in New York City, Together is a new play that allows the audience to be voyeurs watching multiple stories through the windows of an apartment building. A couple makes love via emojis from separate rooms, a tour guide leads the audience on a metaphysical journey but never leaves her fire escape and a Ukranian refugee is kept company by her memories. With a non-linear, rhythmic style and songs, this play explores how we can be together in the digital age.

Grace De Morgan, Quite Drunk, Very Jesus-y (theatre) 

Four friends from youth group. Four very different faith journeys. One snug log cabin. Quite Drunk, Very Jesus-y is a new play exploring how teenage faith plays out in adult life, and what the logical breaking point of any childhood friendship should be. Best enjoyed with a (large) glass of Shiraz.

Mindy Gill, There Is Music (poetry)

As an Australian-born Chinese-Indian writer, I am interested in how vast and varied the Australian national identity is, particularly in terms of its migrant influence. During the Hot Desk Fellowship, I would be completing a manuscript of poems – many evoking questions of home, identity, memory and belonging. Much of my poetry is concerned with locating cultural identity within the framework of diaspora, and how this diasporic identity navigates ideas of the broader Anglo-Australian national identity.

Jane Howard, Essays on Art and Grief (non-fiction)     

Essays on Art and Grief is the debut book-length work from arts writer Jane Howard. The collection looks at the intersection of art and grief, informed by her experiences working as a critic after the death of her sister. Part creative non-fiction, part cultural criticism, part memoir, and part manifesto for being with and critiquing art in the digital age, Jane looks at the way art helps and hinders the grieving process; how artists approach making art about grief and death; and the way grief changes how we re-see the art which was part of our lives before everything changed.

Bobuq Sayed, Afghan Faggotry (fiction)

I plan to work on a long form piece of literary fiction entitled Afghan Faggotry, which investigates the roles and intersections of three 'faggots' in the history of my family's exile from Afghanistan during the Soviet Invasion and integration into the diaspora. The construct of the faggot is here taken to mean the 'failed masculine.' The first faggot is the patriarch of the familial unit, who fails to hold his own family together. The second faggot is myself, a young queer/non-binary artist who fails to uphold conventions of heteronormative masculinity. The third faggot is the older brother I never had, whose faggotry is his absence.

Lorelei Vashti, Sisters (theatre)   

Sisters (or Mothers and Daughters) is a play about three adult women and their mum. It's about looking back and growing up. Three grown women with families of their own return to their mother's home for her 70th birthday, and old grudges, alliances and stereotypes rise to the surface as the four women battle with their identities as mothers and daughters.

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