30 May 2007

The latest book by acclaimed Australian author Dr David Malouf, AO, will be launched at The University of Queensland on Monday, June 4.

Typewriter Music is Dr Malouf's first collection of poems in 26 years and will be launched by University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay, AC, in The University of Queensland Art Museum of the James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre between 6.30pm and 7.30pm.

Head of UQ's School of Music, Professor Philip Bracanin, has composed a short piece, also entitled Typewriter Music, for the occasion which will be performed on the night by the Sanctuary String Quartet.

The 96-page book includes 38 poems and is published by University of Queensland Press (UQP). It is an uplifting exploration of memories of first love, history, music and the wonders of nature.

The poem Out of Sight recalls Dr Malouf's home in Sydney in the late 1960s with its yellow-painted walls, Harbour view, "a place where I forgot to be happy because I was."

In Recalled, Dr Malouf describes the new day with the sky "rekindling" and how the "tea-tree disentangles from fog, water-lilies lift into light".

Born in Brisbane in 1934, Dr Malouf graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with first-class honours from UQ in 1955, remaining at the University for two years afterwards as a junior lecturer before leaving Australia for a decade.

After teaching in the United Kingdom and travelling through Europe, Dr Malouf returned to Australia in 1968 to teach English at the University of Sydney and published his first book of verse, Bicycle and Other Poems, two years later. In 1974, he published Neighbours in the Thicket, which won three literary awards.

Dr Malouf's reputation was further enhanced when Johnno, his first novel, was published in 1975. The portrayal of Brisbane during World War II has become a classic of Australian literature.

He has since won many prestigious awards for works such as An Imaginary Life; Child's Play; Fly Away Peter; and The Great World (winner of the 1991 Miles Franklin Award).

Other highly regarded works have included Remembering Babylon (1993); The Conversations at Curlow Creek (1996); and Dream Stuff (2000).

Dr Malouf's works include 11 books of fiction and an autobiography, libretti for three operas, including Voss – an adaptation of a Patrick White novel, three short story collections and a play, Blood Relations, in 1988. His memoirs, 12 Edmondstone Street, were published in 1985.

Remembering Babylon won the first International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 1996 as well as the Commonwealth Writers Prize (South East Asia and South Pacific Region, Best Book). It was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Dr Malouf was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2000.

In 1992, the University recognised Dr Malouf's distinguished contributions to Australian literature by awarding him an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Speeches from the launch including from UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay, AC, Dr David Malouf, and UQP General Manager, Greg Bain, as well as Professor Bracanin's composition Typewriter Music, can be heard at UQ's podcast site.

Media inquiries: Shirley Glaister at UQ Communications (07 3365 1931), Taressa Brennan at UQP (07 3365 2606) or Dr Malouf's publicist, Karen Williams (02 9388 0087 or 0404 075 924).