Skip to content


Noëlle Janaczewska is Sydney-based playwright, poet and essayist. Much of her work explores history’s gaps and silences, focusing on people, plants, creatures and events overlooked or marginalised in official records. Produced, broadcast and published throughout Australia and overseas, she is the recipient of numerous awards, most notably a Windham Campbell Prize (2014) from Yale University, which recognised her body of dramatic writing.

In Australia, Noëlle’s plays have won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award (Mrs Petrov’s Shoe), the Playbox-Asialink Playwriting Competition and the Griffin Award (Songket). Her radio works have received 7 AWGIE (Australian Writers’ Guild) Awards, most recently for the nonfiction feature My Life in Cookbooks (2014) and the drama Random Red (2012). As well as an Asialink Literature Residency in Korea and Fellowships from the Australia Council, she has held the Eric Dark Fellowship (for literary nonfiction) from Varuna Writers’ Centre, and a University of Queensland Creative Fellowship (2012/3). A graduate of Oxford and London Universities, with a doctorate from the University of Technology, Sydney, Noëlle continues her relationship with the University of Queensland as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Communication and Arts.

Recent works include: Good With Maps (Siren Theatre Company/KXT, Sydney, 2016); Teacup in a Storm (The Q/Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Sydney, 2016); The History of the Single Girl and The Other Polish Explorer both for ABC Radio National in 2015; several pieces protesting the Australian government’s treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers; Playing Awkward (Currency Press: ‘Cue the Chorus’, 2014); Third Person (Union House Theatre, Melbourne, 2013); and the publication of Mrs Petrov’s Shoe by Playlab in 2103. (Songket and This Territory are published by Currency Press in a 2-play edition.)

In 2006 Noëlle began presenting performance essays—a term she coined to describe a hybrid which draws not only on the essay and the monologue, but also on field reports, memoir, spoken word, cultural criticism, reportage and the tradition of the illustrated lecture. She has presented these performance essays in Indonesia and China as well as Australia. Blasted Island—Nauru’s backstory was part of the Sydney Opera House 2014 Festival of Dangerous Ideas.

Noëlle is a member of 7-ON Playwrights, whose immersive show We are the Ghosts of the Future was produced in Sydney in 2015. Their collection of monologues for drama students, No Nudity, Weapons or Naked Flames was published in 2012.

Alongside stage and radio, Noëlle publishes poems, essays and other short pieces in anthologies, literary journals and online magazines. In 2011 Once upon a tiger won the Swale Life International Poetry Competition (UK), and her chapbook-length poem Dorothy Lamour’s Life as a Phrasebook is published by Wayzgoose Press (Australia).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s