Aden Rolfe

is a Sydney-based writer and editor whose practice includes poetry, non-fiction and performance writing. His debut collection, False Nostalgia, was published by Giramondo in 2016, including poems previously featured in The Age, Best Australian Poems and Cordite Poetry Review. He was the 2013 recipient of the Dorothy Hewett Flagship Fellowship for Poetry from Varuna and was featured in Overland’s Emerging Poets Series in 2012. He’s performed his work at Sydney Writers Festival, the Queensland Poetry Festival and the Sydney Opera House. Aden is also an AWGIE award-winning playwright and past winner of Sydney Theatre Company’s Young Playwrights’ Award. He’s had a number of radio works commissioned by ABC RN, including the network’s inaugural digital-first drama, A Thoroughly Wet Mess (2015), and Like a Writing Desk (2014), which made the official selection for the Prix Italia and Prix Marulić festivals in Europe.

Research Practice

Aden’s poetic practice straddles poetry and non-fiction, experimenting with form to incorporate research and critical thought. His debut collection, False Nostalgia, is a cross-genre work combining poems with essayistic reflections and philosophical wanderings. Structured around the themes of memory, identity and narrative, this book established the working model for Aden’s ongoing practice, employing a range of forms to prosecute his ideas. Aden is currently working on his second collection, the Heavenly Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge, through the Writing & Society Research Centre. This practice-led poetry and non-fiction project takes its title from Jorge Luis Borges’ absurd encyclopaedia to explore the relationship between animals and systems of classification. Through close readings of Banks and Cook’s first encounter with a kangaroo and Marco Polo’s account of a unicorn (a Sumatran rhinoceros), the project links Australasian fauna to international and historical literature, considering where postcolonial Australia fits in European and Asian categorical systems and imaginaries.



False Nostalgia, Giramondo Publishing, 2016.

Heavenly Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge, 2016.