Walking, Talking, Looking: The Calibre Essay and Remembering Persuasively in Australia

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The Calibre Essay Prize has been awarded annually since 2007 by the Australian Book Review. In this paper I argue that a number of the Calibre essays represent a discontinuous, but vital, conversation concerning the interaction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. I use the work of Ross Gibson to interpret some of the commended and winning essays. I suggest that the essay form is suited to negotiating difficulties that persist in contemporary Australia as a result of colonial incursion, and argue that the Calibre essays under examination offer possible mechanisms for reconciliation. The form and method of the essay, as well as the finished work itself, help writer and reader to engage with others, with silences, and with the past through concentration of focus, conversation and reciprocity, and the particular flâneur-like qualities of essay writing. I argue that the Calibre essays are examples of what Gibson calls persuasive remembering (2015b: 29).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalTEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


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