Monday, 25 August 2014

Noëlle Janaczewska

Fearless N, Theatre Kantanka, 2008. Photo: Nicholas Higgins

Noëlle Janaczewska is Sydney-based writer of performance, poetry and essays. 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 2014 Windham Campbell Prize 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 Griffin Award and the Playbox-Asialink Playwriting Competition (Songket). Her radio works have received seven 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/Arts 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.

Recent works include Good With Maps (Siren Theatre Company/KXT, Sydney, 2016); Teacup in a Storm (The Q Theatre/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, the mash-up, stand-up, 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. Her most recent are Blasted Island—Nauru’s backstory (Sydney Opera House Festival of Dangerous Ideas, 2014) and How to Eat a Thistle (Australian Gastronomy Symposium, Newcastle, 2013).

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).

Find out more about Noëlle’s work and read excerpts at

Noëlle is represented by Cameron Creswell. Contact them at

No comments: