About the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature Project

The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature is a project of national importance. With Professor Nicholas Jose as General Editor, a major anthology Australian literary writing is being created under the auspices of the Centre for the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature at Macquarie University, and Sydney Centre of International PEN, a worldwide association of writers promoting literature and freedom of expression.

This project had its inception in 2003 when author Nicholas Jose and agent Mary Cunnane, then President and Vice President respectively of the Sydney Centre of International PEN, observed that many of the works of Australia’s most important writers were out of print or otherwise inaccessible. The project has been supported by major grants from the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australian Research Council, and further financial support from universities and private benefactors.

The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature is a comprehensive survey of two centuries of Australian creative writing. This anthology, published in August 2009 and comprising 1504 pages, is a major contribution to our national cultural infrastructure, an authoritative work of reference and a valuable resource for anyone interested in Australian history and culture.

The first anthology published under this project was the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature (May 2008). Most of the Aboriginal writing which appears in this anthology is also included in the main anthology.

In addition to making some of our best writing available to readers in Australia, these anthologies are intended to give international readers better access to Australian literature. The Australian anthology is being published by W.W. Norton & Company outside Australasia in September under the title The Literature of Australia. The Aboriginal anthology is published in Canada under the title Anthology of Australian Aboriginal Literature by McGill-Queen’s University Press and this edition is available in North America, the UK and Europe.

One of the other goals of the anthology project is to encourage and support the teaching of Australian literature in schools and universities. Each anthology includes introductory essays and biographies of authors. They are also accompanied by online teaching guides and short film clips of interviews, readings and performance.

Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature Team

Editorial team:

General Editor: Professor Nicholas Jose, University of Western Sydney
Advisory Publishing Editor: Mary Cunnane, Literary agent and former publisher
Deputy General Editor: Dr David McCooey, Deakin University

Contributing Editors:

Dr Kerryn Goldsworthy, University of Adelaide
Dr Anita Heiss, author, University of Queensland and University of Western Sydney
Peter Minter, University of Sydney
Dr Nicole Moore, Macquarie University
Professor Elizabeth Webby, University of Sydney

Centre for the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature, Macquarie University:

Centre Director: Professor Jill Roe
Centre Co-ordinator: Chris Cunneen
Research Assistant: Dr Geoffrey Payne

Education advisers:

Dr Donna Gibbs, Macquarie University
Dr Kerry-Ann O'Sullivan, Macquarie University