Anna Jacobson is a writer 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. In 2018 she won the Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award. Her writing has been published in literary journals and anthologies including Chicago Quarterly Review, Griffith Review, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite, Meanjin, Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry, and more. Anna’s poetry chapbook The Last Postman (Vagabond Press, 2018) is part of the deciBels 3 series. She is a PhD candidate at QUT specialising in memoir. She holds a Master of Philosophy in poetry (QUT 2018), a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies (UQ 2019), a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative and Professional Writing) (QUT 2015), and a Bachelor of Photography with Honours (Griffith University 2009). She was a finalist in the 65th Blake Art Prize, 2019 Marie Ellis Prize for Drawing and 2009 Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture. She won the 2009 Queensland Poetry Festival Filmmakers Challenge. Her website is www.annajacobson.com.au.
Dr. Tara Mokhtari is a Persian poet, born in Canberra, residing in New York City. Poetry is deeply ingrained in Persian culture and in the spirit of Persian people, and Mokhtari’s mother, Pari Azarmvand Mokhtari, is a world expert in Hafez. Mokhtari wrote her first poem at age 13, and a few years later, upon pausing to take a breath between the first two stanzas of Stevie Smith’s poem ‘Black March,’ Mokhtari made the conscious decision (which was likely made in and by the universe much earlier) that poetry was her life’s work. As a postgraduate student at RMIT University for both her PhD and Masters creative projects, Mokhtari wrote verse novels, which accompanied critical dissertations on modern poetry and poetics. Stevie Smith remained at the center of Mokhtari’s research during these years.
While poetry is her most enduring love, Mokhtari writes across the creative media. She was a founder and the in-house playwright of Canberra theatre company, The Nineteenth Hole (est. 2001), and was commissioned to write a play for Canberra’s preeminent independent company, Free Rain, when she was just 18. These plays earned multiple awards and nominations. Mokhtari went on to write for screen on assignment, most recently writing an original sci-fi feature film for Crick Films (Canberra) and a feature adaptation of a New York Times best-selling book for Barry Navidi (London/Los Angeles).
Mokhtari’s first collection of poetry, Anxiety Soup, was published in Australia by Finlay Lloyd Press (2013). The poems are connected thematically as snippets of daily life that shift the existential core of the speaker in some way. Mokhtari’s co-edited book of essays, Testimony, Witness, Authority: The Politics and Poetics of Experience, was published in 2013 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. In 2012 and 2011, Mokhtari edited the English translations of two books by Dr. Hashem Rajabzadeh (Rikkyo University, Japan) who is a recipient of The Order of the Sacred Treasure in Japan for his lifelong work in introducing Persian culture to Japan.
The culmination of her work—creative, scholarly, and pedagogical—is Mokhtari’s book, The Bloomsbury Introduction to Creative Writing (2015), which is now in its second edition and has been translated into Simplified Chinese. The book has been adopted by university programs in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, approaches creative writing as a form of knowledge that, for the writer, is symbiotically linked to experience.
Mokhtari is part of the wonderful faculty at CUNY Bronx Community College’s Communication Arts and Sciences department, and lives in Brooklyn with the world’s greatest cat, Malake. Mokhtari has given guest lectures at SUNY Oswego (NY), BRIC TV (NY), Victoria University (Melbourne), This Is Not Art Festival (New Castle), and her works are published in magazines and anthologies in the US, Australia, Prague, and beyond.
Steve Cox is an artist and writer. He has a forty-year exhibition history and his work is held in major public and private collections throughout Australia and internationally. As an arts writer, since 2000, he has contributed articles and reviews, and has conducted interviews with artists, for numerous newspapers, journals and magazines, including The Guardian; VAULT: Australasian Art & Culture; Gay Times, UK; FilmInk.com, amongst others. Cox writes on a range of subjects, including contemporary and historical art; LGBTQI issues; social issues; cinema; contemporary music.
Between 2013–2014, he was the London Arts Editor of NakedButSafe magazine. In 2019 he was on the judging panel for the Young Arts Journalist Award (YAJA). Also in 2019, he was the inaugural Writer in Residence for Brunswick Street Village, an innovative building complex, which espouses green values and arts in the community as a primary concern. During the residency, he produced a collection of fifty poems, on a range of subjects.
Originally from the west of Ireland and living in Sydney, Anne Casey is author of two poetry collections—where the lost things go (Salmon Poetry 2017, 2nd ed 2018) and out of emptied cups (Salmon Poetry, 2019). Anne has worked for 30 years as a journalist, magazine editor, media communications director and legal author. Her writing and poetry rank in leading national daily newspaper, The Irish Times’ ‘Most-Read’ and are widely published internationally—The Irish Times, Entropy, apt, Murmur House, Quiddity, Barzakh (State University of New York), DASH (California State University), FourXFour (Poetry Northern Ireland), Cordite, The Canberra Times, Verity La and Plumwood Mountain among others. Anne’s poetry has won/shortlisted for awards in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the USA, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia. She is Senior Poetry Editor of Other Terrain Journal and Backstory Journal (Swinburne University, Melbourne) and sits on numerous literary advisory boards.