Staff profile - David Mccooey

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Prof David Mccooey

Position: Personal Chair
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts and Education
Department: SCCA Arts & Ed
Campus: ic1.113, Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
Phone: +61 3 522 71331 +61 3 522 71331



David is an international expert in Australian literary studies. His areas of speciality are autobiography and poetry. His Artful Histories: Modern Australian Autobiography was published by Cambridge University Press in 1996, the same year that the book was awarded a NSW Premiers Literary Award. His publications on poetry include the Contemporary Poetry chapter in The Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature (2000), the Poetry: 1970-2005 chapter in The Companion to Australian Literature (2007), and the 'Autobiography' chapter in The Cambridge History of Australian Literature. David has also written numerous essays and reviews for scholarly and general publications such as Criticism, Biography, Southerly, Meanjin, Westerly, Australian Book Review, The Age, The Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald and JASAL. David has also written Introductions to 30 Australian Poets (UQP, 2011) and Rosemary Dobson Collected (UQP, 2012).

David has been the co-recipient of a number of ARC Grants, including a Discovery Grant on 'Australian literature and the public sphere'. In 2004 he was invited to guest-edit a special issue of the refereed journal Life Writing on Life Writing and the Public Sphere. From 2003-2006 he was associate editor of the literary journal, Space: New Writing. He is an editorial board member of Life Writing and Antipodes: The North American Journal of Australian Literature. He has been a guest at a number of literary festivals, including the 2012 Melbourne Writers' Festival. In 2006 he was the co-recipient (with Professor Jill Roe and Professor Nicholas Jose) of an ARC Linkage Grant (of $240 000) for the project The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature, of which David is the Deputy General Editor. The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature was published in 2009 and in 2010 it won the 'Special Award' in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. Thomas Keneally described the anthology as being 'Unprecedented in the breadth of what it offers from both the ancient and the recent literature of the country'.

David is also a poet. His first book of poetry, Blister Pack was published internationally by Salt Publishing in 2005. Blister Pack won the Mary Gilmore Award (for a first book of poetry) and was short-listed for four major awards, including The Melbourne Prize for Literature (New Writing Award), Australias richest literary award. A fine-press chapbook, Graphic: Two Sequences, appeared in 2010. His second full-length collection, Outside, was published by Salt Publishing in 2011. It was short listed for the Queensland Literary Awards and it was a Finalist for the Melbourne Prize for Literature's $30 000 Best Writing Award in 2012. His poetry has also appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Age, Southerly, Australian Book Review, The Best Australian Poems 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 and The Best Australian Poetry 2007. In 2013 he was the first Poetry Editor of Australian Book Review.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sydney, 1994


Professional Associations

  • Association for the Study of Australian Literature
  • American Association of Australian Literary Studies
  • Australian Association of Writing Programs
  • Honorary Associate, The Centre for The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature, Department of English, Macquarie University, NSW

    Professional activities

  • HDR (Higher Degrees by Research) Coordinator (Geelong campus)
  • Professional and Creative Writing Campus Coordinator (Geelong campus)
  • 2004-2006, Associate Head of School

    Community Involvement

  • Poetry Judge, Peter Porter Poetry Prize (2012-2013)
  • Judge, the National Biography Award (2003; 2010)
  • Poetry Judge, The Age Book of the Year Award (2008; 2011)
  • Convenor, Poetry Judging Panel, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards (2004)
  • co Judge of the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize (2003)
  • Associate Editor, Space: New Writing (2003-2006) Editorial Board Membership:
  • Antipodes: The North American Journal of Australian Literature
  • Life Writing

  • Academic

    Subjects and units currently teaching

    second-level literary studies (ALL201/ALL202), professional writing (poetry and creative non-fiction), honours research methods, honours and HDR supervision

    Related Links


    Awards and prizes

    2012 Finalist, Melbourne Prize for Literature’s ‘Best Writing Award’ (triennial, all genres) (for Outside).
    2012 Shortlisted, Queensland Literary Awards (Poetry) (for Outside).
    2010 Winner, ‘Special Award’, NSW Premier’s Literary Award (for the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature).
    2010 Winner, the Australian Educational Publishing Awards, Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Scholarly Reference (for the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature).
    2010 Short-listed, Australian Book Industry Awards, General Non-Fiction (for the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature).
    2006 Winner, Mary Gilmore Award (for the best first book of poetry in the preceding two calendar years, Blister Pack).
    2006 Short-listed, The Melbourne Prize for Literature (New Writing Award, Blister Pack).
    2005  Short-listed, WA Premier’s Book Awards (Poetry: Blister Pack).
    2005  Short-listed, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards (Poetry: Blister Pack).
    2005  Short-listed, The Age Book of the Year Award (Poetry: Blister Pack).
    1997 Short-listed, Colin Roderick Award for Best Australian Book (Artful Histories).
    1996  NSW Premier’s Literary Award (for Artful Histories).
    1993 Eva Veronka Vidak Memorial Prize (Sydney University, award for PhD thesis).


    Research interests

    Australian poetry and autobiography
    Literature and the public sphere

    Research page

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