‘Nature writing’ is a popular genre in Britain and the United States, but it does not translate easily to an Australian context. The continent’s long lineage of First Nations’ custodianship, and brief history of colonisation, has arguably given rise to writing about the environment in complex ways.

This project explores how writing about the environment manifests in Australia. In particular, it investigates how gender inflects responses to and renditions of the natural world.

‘Wattle’ painting by James White

Diversity is a key element when addressing difficult problems because it prompts a range of perspectives. This speaker series will amplify thoughtful and galvanising female and non-binary voices to provide multifaceted reflections on our environment, particularly as such voices tend to be overlooked in discussions of the environment in Australia. It will also prompt a consideration of the ways the ecosystems not only keep us alive, but also inspire creativity in terms of literary themes, content and form.

‘Black and White’ painting by James White     


Accessible venues across Adelaide, and one regional location, will showcase these important writers.

Featured writers include: Eileen Chong, Dr Bronwyn Lovell, Natalie Harkin, Jennifer Mills, Jane Rawson, Inga Simpson, Danielle Clode, Jeanine Leane and Gaele Sobott.

The series begins in July and closes in December 2022. Audiences will be invited to attend in person or online, extending the reach beyond Adelaide to the nation, and ensuring accessibility for disabled and/or remote audiences.  

Writers featured in the series

Eileen Chong is an award-winning writer of Hakka, Hokkien, and Peranakan descent. She is the author of nine books. Her most recent collection of poems is A Thousand Crimson Blooms from the University of Queensland Press. She lives and works on unceded Gadigal land of the Eora Nation. 

Image: Eileen Chong by Christopher Philips

Natalie Harkin is a Narungga woman and activist-poet from South Australia. She is a Senior Research Fellow at Flinders University with an interest in decolonising state archives, currently engaging archival-poetic methods to research and document Aboriginal women's domestic service and labour histories in SA. Her words have been installed and projected in exhibitions comprising text-object-video projection, including creative-arts research collaboration with the Unbound Collective. She has published widely, and her poetry manuscripts include Dirty Words with Cordite Books in 2015, and Archival-poetics with Vagabond Press in 2019. 

Bronwyn Lovell is an always feminist and often speculative poet living in Peramangk country in the Adelaide Hills. She has won the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award and was runner-up in the inaugural RMIT/Giramondo Speculate Prize. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Dorothy Hewett Award, Judith Wright Poetry Prize, Newcastle Poetry Prize, Bridport Prize, and Montreal International Poetry Prize. Her debut collection, In Bed with Animals, is forthcoming from Recent Work Press; and her science fiction verse novel Between Worlds is forthcoming from University of Western Australia Publishing. Bronwyn teaches creative writing at the University of South Australia and although her research interests reside in outer space, the great loves in her life are her garden, dogs and cat. 

Jennifer Mills is an author, editor and critic based on Kaurna Yerta (Adelaide). Her latest novel, The Airways (2021), was recently shortlisted for an Aurealis Award for Horror. Dyschronia (2018) was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin, Aurealis (for Science Fiction), and Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. A widely published essayist and a strong advocate for the rights of writers and artists, her key interests include labour, art, climate, ecology, power, gender and the body. In 2022 Mills is pursuing these subjects and more as Artist in Residence at Vitalstatistix.

Jane Rawson lives in Tasmania, where she works as a writer for a conservation organisation. Her latest novel, A History of Dreams, was published by Brio in 2022. Her first novel, A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists, won the Most Underrated Book Award and her second novel, From the Wreck, won the Aurealis Award and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin. She is also the author of a non-fiction guide to surviving and living with climate change called The Handbook and a novella, Formaldehyde. Her essays on climate change, nature and speculative fiction have been published widely.


Danielle Clode is a narrative nonfiction writer whose work includes nature-writing, essays, science-writing, historical fiction, science fiction and children’s books. Her books have won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and FAW award for non-fiction and the Whitley Award for popular zoology and been shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Adelaide Festival and National Biography awards. She started science writing after completing her PhD in zoology at Oxford. She has worked as a full-time freelance writer for the last 20 years and is an associate professor in creative writing at Flinders University. Danielle’s recent books include biography/memoirs about two female scientists: naturalist Edith Coleman in The Wasp and the Orchid and collector Jeanne Barret In Search of the Woman Who Sailed the World (Picador). Her latest book is a narrative natural history about koalas and will be published in Australia by Black Inc and in the US/UK by W. W. Norton.

Inga Simpson is the author of the novels The Last Woman in the World, Mr Wigg, Nest, Where the Trees Were, as well as Understory: my life with trees and, for children, The Book of Australian Trees, illustrated by Alicia Rogerson. Inga’s novels have been short and longlisted for numerous awards, including the Miles Franklin and Stella Prize, while Understory was shortlisted for the Adelaide Writers Week award for nonfiction. Inga has PhDs in creative writing and English literature, with her most recent thesis exploring the history of Australian nature writing. Her short stories and essays have been published in Wonderground, Chicago Quarterly Review, Griffith Review, Openbook, Review of Australian Fiction, Clues, Writing Queensland, and The Dictionary of Literary Biography. Her cricket novel, Willowman, will be released 26 October 2022.

Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri writer, poet and academic from southwest New South Wales. Her poetry, short stories, critique, and essays have been published in Hecate: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Women’s Liberation Australian Poetry Journal, Antipodes, Overland and the Sydney Review of Books. Jeanine has published widely on Aboriginal literature, writing otherness and creative non-fiction. She was the recipient of the University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize, and has won the Oodgeroo Noonucal Prize for Poetry twice. She was the 2019 recipient of the Red Room Poetry Fellowship for her project ‘Voicing the Unsettled Space: Rewriting the Colonial Mythscape’. She is the recipient of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Fellowship for a project called ‘Aboriginal Writing: Shaping the literary and cultural history of Australia, since 1988’ (2014-2018); and a second ARC grant that looks at Indigenous Storytelling and the Archive (2020-2024). In 2020 Jeanine edited Guwayu – for all times, a collection of First Nations Poetry commissioned by Red Room Poetry and published by Magabala Books. In 2021 she was the recipient of the School of Literature Art and Media (SLAM) Poetry Prize University of Sydney. Jeanine teaches Creative Writing and Aboriginal Literature at the University of Melbourne.

Gaele Sobott lives on Dharug land, Western Sydney, Australia. Her published works include, Colour Me Blue (Heinemann), My Longest Round (Magabala Books) and recent short stories in Verity La, Meanjin, Prometheus Dreaming, New Contrast and the anthologies, Botswana Women Write (University of Kwazulu-Natal Press) and Not Quite Right For Us (flipped eye). Her poems appear in various publications including Disability Arts Online, Otway Journal, Cordite, Plumwood Mountain and New Flash Fiction Review. Gaele received a 2020 fellowship from City of Sydney to create award-winning animated poems She was shortlisted for 2021 Queensland Poetry Awards Emerging Older Poets Mentorship and 2021 Varuna Writers Space fellowship. She is the founding director of Outlandish Arts; a disabled-led, not-for-profit arts organisation. Gaele has a PhD in literature from the University of Hull, England.

Event details
Find out about the speaker series event details here

Research team
Dr Jessica White

Funding support
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Key contact
Dr Jessica White:  Jessica.white2@unisa.edu.au

Learn more about creative writing as research at CP3

Watch this short video [6min 26sec] presented by Dr Jessica White to learn more about creative writing undertaken at CP3. 

UniSA Video