The avant garde poet PiO, who published his first book in 1974, has won a major award. The poet, who changed his name after he fell in love with mathematics, last week won the $15,000 Judith Wright Calanthe Award in the Queensland Literary Awards for Heidi, a. 600 page epic about modern art and the world of the Reeds, Sidney Nolan, Joy Hester and Albert Tucker.

Other winners in the awards included Heartland,  Jo Gorman; fiction Stone Sky Gold Mountain, Miranda Riwoe; non fiction, Olive Cotton, Helen innes; short story award, Lucky Ticket, Joey Bui; David Unaipon award, The Space Between The Paperbark, Jazz Money.

Also presented last week were the New South Wales Premier’s History Awards. The $15,000 Australian prize went to James Dunk for Bedlum at Botany Bay. Other prizes included : general, The Warrior, The Voyager, and the Artist: Three Lives in an Age of Empire, Kate Fullagar; NSW community and regional prize, Surviving New England : A History of Aboriginal Resistance and Resilience Through the First Forty Years of Colonial Apocalype, Callum Richard Clayton-Dixon; young people’s, The Good Son: A Story from the First World War, Told in Miniature, Pierre-Jacques Ober, Felicity Coonan and Jules Ober; and the digital prize, Experiment Street, Noelle Janaczewska.

The 2020 shortlist for the Booker Prize is The New Wilderness by Diane Cook, This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga,  Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, Real Life by Brandon Taylor.

The winner of this year’s Booker Prize will be announced on 17th November, 2020.