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Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowships 2019: Introducing the Fellows (round three)

Read Tuesday, 17 Sep 2019

Our Hot Desk Fellowships are supported by the Readings Foundation. Our second intake of writers have just finished up; this week, our third intake of fellows begin their stint at the Wheeler Centre.

These fellowships, all of which include a $1000 stipend and a workspace at the Wheeler Centre for ten weeks, have been created simply to give emerging writers the space to write and create. Find out what the third intake of fellows have to say about the projects they’ll be working on below.

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Writers selected for the third intake of Fellowships are: Nic AleaGeetha BalakrishnanChristine DaveyHayley Lawson-SmithGabriella MunozJennifer NguyenOliver Reeson and Jasmine Shirrefs

They’ll be undertaking their work at the Wheeler Centre from Monday 16 September to Friday 22 November.

Photograph of Nic Alea

Nic Alea
Summer in the House of Ichthyo (poetry)

Summer in the House of Ichthyo explores the controversial understanding of an infant’s awareness during gestation and birth as well as attempts to piece together a cohesive exploration of Post Traumatic Stress which has resulted in Ichthyophobia, fear of fish.

This collection of poetry trudges through childhood sexual trauma, mother/child enmeshment, and fear displacement in order to find emotional reconciliation for the fragmented self.

Through study of various texts exploring complex trauma as well as lived experience in different therapeutic settings, I aim to use my research in formulating potential answers through a distinct poetic narrative.

Photograph of Geetha Balakrishnan

Geetha Balakrishnan
Oluwale, My God Has Come (novella)

Oluwale, My God Has Come Home is a novella set between Melbourne and Sydney. Oluwale comes to Australia as a post-graduate student, brimming with the visions of success modelled by Nigeria’s most prosperous. When his best friend moves from Sydney to Melbourne, Oluwale takes his old room, meets an older woman from a country he has never heard of, and begins a love affair that takes him to the brink of his sanity. Told through the eyes of the abandoned lover, this is a story about the ghosts we abandon to the past and the destruction we invite when we cannot face up to them.

Photograph of Christine Davey

Christine Davey
My Brilliant Career (play)

My Brilliant Career is the story of love, landscape and language and this theatrical re-imagining is Christine’s dedication to this seminal work from Stella Miles Franklin. More than theatre, more than poetry, the project aims to take the telling of stories to new stages.

Photograph of Hayley Lawson-Smith

Hayley Lawson-Smith
Dox (play)

Dox, a predominately female character-led full-length play, examines issues of online gaming culture in Australia and beyond. Utilising true stories, this piece will examine the benefits of gaming to society; the way feminism is perceived and how women are treated within the gaming world; the unfolding of Gamergate and what the gaming industry can do – if anything – to create equality and reduce harassment. These themes will be juxtaposed with scenes illustrating significant moments from the suffragette era, and the script will be written so as to give producing companies the option to create immersive experience for audience members through the use of gaming platforms.

Photograph of Gabriella Munoz

Gabriella Munoz
Her (novella)

Her is part of a short story collection inspired by Mexican legends and artwork, and it explores the life of La Catrina (La Muerte, the personification of Death) and her relationship with Mar, the daughter of the first woman whose life she took.

The first part examines why and how La Catrina became Death. The second part explores her relationship with Mar and the decision she has to make when she realises it is time to take her to the underworld.

This is a story about motherhood, memory and the fears we face when we have to say goodbye to the people we love the most.

Photograph of Jennifer Nguyen

Jennifer Nguyen
from far away the beating heart looks like a stone (poetry)

‘from far away the beating heart looks like a stone’ takes place in a world where even if you buy and use a soft-boiled egg timer it doesn’t mean your eggs will come out soft-boiled. there are attempts to keep fish / plants / & other beings with feelings, alive. there’s a reckoning with sleeping patterns. wrestling with recurring dreams that bleed, only to scab over, only for you to reopen those wounds by scratching. there’s watching & rewatching things until they become a 2nd pulse. there’s a landscape of changing seasons. & / a season with no name, but still // we live it. we become it

Photograph of Oliver Reeson

Oliver Reeson
Body Potential (creative non-fiction)

The aim of my work-in-progress manuscript, Body Potential, is to queer mainstream conceptions of gender, illness and identity, and break down our devotion to binary systems. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, as a 22-year-old, I identified as a woman publicly but had been struggling with gender dysphoria for a long time. When heteronormative expectations are applied to ‘common’ experiences such as illness or coming of age, these narratives are often stripped of their true complexity. Body Potential will propose an understanding of all identity as perpetual motion. It will be a narrative that is precise, considered and honest in its messiness.

Photograph of Jasmine Shirrefs

Jasmine Shirrefs
Clayton Commune (creative non-fiction)

Clayton Commune is a creative nonfiction memoir about my time living in an intentional community. It discusses themes such as queerness, mental illness and disability as well as finding community in a fragmentary internet age.


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