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Admissions: Voices within Mental Health | Panel | Avid Reader

Wednesday, 19 October 2022




Avid Reader Bookshop West End

"This cacophony of own voice narratives broadens the conversation around mental health in Australia." Maxine Beneba Clarke

Co-editor, David Stavanger will be joined by Wendy & Pascalle Burton, Shastra Deo, Martin Ingle and Anna Jacobson reading from the anthology Admissions: Voices within Mental Health.

Admissions (Upswell Publishing) is a new anthology documenting the lived/living experience of mental health issues in Australia, featuring 100+ poems and non-fiction pieces from some of our leading writers and public figures including the likes of Grace Tame, Nat's What I Reckon, Christine Anu, Felicity Ward, Kristen Dunphy (Wakefield creator), Justin Heazlewood, Jennifer Wong, Amani Haydar, Anna Spargo-Ryan, Sara Saleh, Omar Sakr, Ellen van Neerven, Fiona Wright, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Elizabeth Tan, Heidi Everett, and Steven Oliver alongside emerging voices.

Admissions is co-edited by Mohammad Awad (from ABC's Space 22), Radhiah Chowdhury (The Katha Chest) and David Stavanger (Case Notes) - all of whom have their own lived experience (as well as variously having worked in the mental health field or been carers for family members with a mental illness.)

Joining David on the night will be contributors Wendy & Pascalle Burton, Shastra Deo, Martin Ingle and Anna Jacobson to discuss writing from within - and documenting - the mental health lived experience, as well as reading their work from the anthology.

David Stavanger is a poet, cultural producer, editor, and lapsed psychologist living on unceded Dharawal land. His first full-length poetry collection was The Special (UQP, 2014). He is the co-editor of Solid Air: Collected Australian & New Zealand Spoken Word (UQP, 2019) and Admissions: Voices Within Mental Health (Upswell Publishing, 2022.) David's latest collection, Case Notes (UWAP, 2020), won the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry. He also produces the MAD Poetry project at Red Room Poetry.

Shastra Deo was born in Fiji, raised in Melbourne and lives in Brisbane. Her first book, The Agonist (UQP 2017), won the 2016 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and the 2018 Australian Literature Society Gold Medal. Her second book, The Exclusion Zone, is forthcoming from University of Queensland Press in 2023.

Martin Ingle is a writer, filmmaker and obsessive-compulsive worrywart who works on Yuggera land. His comedy-drama script Disorderly is in development and was an international finalist for the prestigious ScreenCraft Fellowship. He is also a fierce advocate, featuring in the OCD episode of the ABC’s You Can’t Ask That and in comedy series about OCD, Plushed, currently in development with Screen Australia. He’s one of five contributors to OCD anthology Try Not To Think Of A Pink Elephant with Fremantle Press, and his writing has been published in The Guardian, ABC News Online, The Chaser and The Shovel.

Anna Jacobson is a poet and artist from Brisbane. Amnesia Findings (UQP, 2019) is her first full-length poetry collection, which won the 2018 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize. In 2020 Anna won the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing (Open Creative Nonfiction), was awarded a Queensland Writers Fellowship, and was shortlisted in the Spark Prize. Her poetry chapbook The Last Postman was published with Vagabond Press (2018) as part of the decibel 3 series.

Wendy Burton is living independently in the place of her dreams.

Pascalle Burton is an experimental writer based in Meanjin. Her collection About the Author is Dead is available from Cordite Books. She also plays in the band The Stress of Leisure.

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