Tessa Lunney

has published her poetry, fiction and reviews in Cordite, Southerly, Mascara, and Contrapasso, among others, as well as Best Australian Poems 2014. Her first novel is currently in development. In 2016 she won two short fiction prizes, the Josephine Ulrick Prize for Literature and the Orlando Prize for Short Fiction. In 2014 she was the recipient of an Australia Council ArtStart grant. She has also been longlisted for the Helen Bell award, shortlisted for the Jean Cecily Drake-Brockman Poetry Prize, shortlisted for the Griffith Review Novella competition, and highly commended in the FAW Unpublished Manuscript award. She was awarded a Doctorate of Creative Arts in 2013 from Western Sydney University. Her dissertation was on silence in contemporary Australian war fiction, with a basis in trauma theory and close reference to David Malouf, Brenda Walker, and Evie Wyld. She is currently represented by Sarah McKenzie of Hindsight Literary Agency. She works for Southerly literary journal as their Administrative Assistant and as a casual academic at universities around Sydney.

Research Practice

I have two areas of practice. The first is a short lyric with mostly autobiographical content, that looks at the idea of home. The second is using photographs as inspiration for dramatic monologues. This was begun within a mentorship with Judith Beveridge in 2014, within the Australia Council ArtStart grant. I use photographs or paintings of Sydney, mostly from the 1920s to 1970s, to imagine the voice of a Sydneysider within that historical moment. ‘The Crowley-Fizelle School’, published in Cordite in 2015, is an example of this type of work and is part of a larger, still evolving series. As with my fiction, many of these poems respond to the lasting impact of war.