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Noëlle Janaczewska is Sydney-based playwright, poet, essayist, and author of The Book of Thistles (UWA Publishing). Much of her work deals with history’s gaps and silences, focusing on people, plants, creatures and events overlooked or marginalised in official records. Noëlle’s writing has been produced, broadcast and published locally and internationally, and she is the recipient of a Windham-Campbell Prize from Yale University for her body of work as a dramatist.

Noëlle’s poems have been performed live, set to music, and broadcast on ABC Radio National. They have appeared in anthologies and literary journals, in feature films and artists’ books. Her first collection, Scratchland (UWA Publishing Poetry Series), came out in 2020.

In Australia, Noëlle’s plays have won two AWGIE (Australian Writers’ Guild Industry Excellence) Awards for Community and Youth Theatre (Yellow Yellow Sometimes Blue, 2019; Teacup in a Storm, 2017), a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award (Mrs Petrov’s Shoe), the Playbox-Asialink Playwriting Competition and the Griffin Award (Songket). Her audio works across drama and nonfiction have received the 2020 NSW Premier’s History Award Digital History Prize and eight AWGIE Awards. 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. 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: Experiment Street (ABC Radio National, 2019); Yellow Yellow Sometimes Blue (Q Theatre/Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Sydney 2018); audio scripts for the Rome: City and Empire exhibition (National Museum of Australia and the British Museum, 2018); Seoul City Sue (ABC Radio National, 2018) and Good With Maps (Siren Theatre Company, Regional NSW tour 2018, Edinburgh 2017, Sydney 2016). In 2015 Noëlle presented Dear Scott— her collected letters to the then Minister for Immigration and Border Protection at Melbourne’s fortyfivedownstairs, one of a number of pieces she’s written protesting the Australian government’s treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers.

Noëlle also presents performance essays—a term she coined to describe a hybrid which mashes the essay and the monologue with a range of other sources and genres. She has presented these in Indonesia and China as well as Australia. The Hannah First Collection, 1919-1949 was created for the Zendai Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai, and Blasted Island—Nauru’s backstory was part of the Sydney Opera House Festival of Dangerous Ideas.

Noëlle is a member of 7-ON Playwrights.

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