Julienne VAN LOON (novelist, essayist; Australia) is a research fellow at non/fictionLab of RMIT University in Melbourne. She won the Australian/Vogel’s Award and in 2005 was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize First Book Award for Road Story. Her work, including the recent novel Harmless, has strong creative and cultural connection to Asia, particularly China.
Ali Cobby ECKERMANN (poet; Australia) is the author of six books, including the poetry collections Little Bit Long Time (2009), Kami (2010), Love Dreaming and Other Poems (2011), and Ruby Moonlight (2011), the verse novel His Father’s Eyes (2011) and a poetic memoir, Too Afraid to Cry (2013). Her awards include the Australia Poetry Centre’s 2008 New Poets Award and the 2013 Book of the Year for Ruby Moonlight. She co-edited Southerly Journal’s 2012 Aboriginal issue titled A Handful of Sand.
Lindsay SIMPSON (novelist, journalist, non-fiction writer; Australia) spent twelve years as an investigative journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald and in 1999 was the founding member of the Journalism and Media Studies program at the University of Tasmania. Author of six books of non-fiction, she currently lectures on journalism and writing at James Cook University. In 2006 she published her first novel, The Curer of Souls. Her participation is partly funded by James Cook University.
Catherine ZIMDAHL is a commissioned playwright with the Melbourne Theatre Company. Her one-act play Family Running for Mr. Whippy was nominated for the 1995 Best New Australian Play, and produced by the theatre companies of Melbourne and Sydney, and adapted for Australian national radio.
Wendy Ella WRIGHT lived in Japan for sixteen years, which inspired her novel The Air of Tokyo (2002). She received a B.A. in Comparative Culture from Sophia University in Tokyo, and is a Ph.D. candidate in creative writing at the University of Adelaide. The Tokyo Journal published her first poem in 1985. Her prose, poetry and translations of Japanese literature have appeared, often in her own performances, on the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s “Poetica” Program, Writer’s Radio 5UV, and SBS Japanese Radio.
Josephine ROWE (fiction writer, poet; Australia) has worked variously as a lecturer, editor and curator of literary events. Her writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best Australian Poems (2005, 2006 & 2010), Best Australian Stories (2010), Overland, ABR and The Griffith Review, and her short story collection How a Moth Becomes a Boat was published in 2010.
Alice PUNG was born in Melbourne to Cambodian parents. She has published the memoir Unpolished Gem (2006), which won the Australian Book Industry Association award for Newcomer of the Year and was short-listed for numerous other awards, ;and the short story collection Growing Up Asian in Australia (2008). Her work was also included in Best Australian Short Stories 2007. A lawyer by trade, she contributes regularly to The Age.
John MATEER has published five collections of poetry. He has won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry in 2001, and the Centenary Medal for his contributions to Australian literature. His most recent book of poems, The Ancient Capital of Images, details his experiences living in South Africa, Australia, and Japan.
On 5/24/20, the US Embassy in Moscow celebrated Joseph Brodsky's 80th birthday with a collage of American poets reading his birthday poem "May 24, 1980" in the poet's self-translation. Chris Merrill, one of Brodsky's students, is among the readers.