Carmel Bird

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Carmel Bird (born 1940) is an Australian writer of novels, short stories and essays. She has also written books on the art of writing, and has edited anthologies of essays and stories. In 2016, she was awarded the Patrick White Award.


Carmel Power[1] was born in Launceston, Tasmania, in 1940, and educated there.[2] She started teaching in 1961, and taught for twenty years.[3] She now lives in Central Victoria. She is twice divorced, and has a daughter named Camilla.[1] She published an early work as "Jack Power", Power being her original surname.

Bird has taught fiction writing at Melbourne, Deakin, Latrobe, Monash, Swinburne and RMIT Universities.[4]

Writing career[edit]

Her first collection of short stories, called Births, Deaths and Marriages, was published in 1983, and her most recent novel (2010) is Child of the Twilight, a novel concerned with medical science and faith. Her most recent collection of short fiction is My Hearts Are Your Hearts (2015), and her most recent non-fiction is Fair Game (2015).

In 2016, she was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award "in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Australian literature".[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]



  • Bird, Carmel (1985). Cherry Ripe.
  • Bird, Carmel (1990). The Bluebird Café. New Directions.
  • Bird, Carmel (1995). The White Garden.
  • Bird, Carmel (under the name of Jack Power)l (1996). Crisis.
  • Bird, Carmel (1998). Red Shoes.
  • Bird, Carmel (2000). Unholy Writ.
  • Bird, Carmel (2002). Open for Inspection.
  • Bird, Carmel (2004). Cape Grimm.
  • Bird Carmel (2010) Child of the Twilight
  • Bird, Carmel (2016) Family Skeleton


  • Bird Carmel (1981) Dimitra
  • Bird Carmel (1983) Births,Deaths and Marriages
  • Bird, Carmel (1987). The Woodpecker Toy Fact and Other Stories.
  • Bird Carmel (1988) Woodpecker Point
  • Bird, Carmel (1993). The Common Rat.
  • Bird, Carmel (1996). Automatic Teller.
  • Bird Carmel (2005) The Essential Bird
  • Bird Carmel (2015) My Hearts Are Your Hearts

Anthologies (Edited)[edit]

  • Bird, Carmel (1985). The Writing on the Wall: Collection of Poetry and Prose by Women.
  • Bird, Carmel (1990). Australian Short Stories.
  • Bird, Carmel (1991). Relations.
  • Bird, Carmel (1996). Red Hot Notes.
  • Bird, Carmel (1997). Daughters and Fathers.
  • Bird, Carmel (1998). The Stolen Children: Their Story.
  • Bird, Carmel (2000). The Penguin Century of Australian Stories.


  • Bird, Carmel (1988). Dear Writer.
  • Bird, Carmel (1994). Not Now Jack - I'm Writing a Novel.
  • Bird, Carmel (1996). Dear Writer (Revised and enlarged ed.).
  • Bird Carmel (2010) Writing the Story of Your Life
  • Bird Carmel (2013) Dear Writer Revisited
  • Bird Carmel (2015) Fair Game


  • Bird, Carmel (1996). The Mouth.
  • Bird, Carmel (1998). The Cassowary's Quiz.

Book reviews[edit]

Date Review article Work(s) reviewed
2011 Bird, Carmel (June 2011). "Graphic impact". Australian Book Review (332): 59. Wilson, Rohan (2011). The Roving Party. Allen & Unwin.
2011 Bird, Carmel (September 2011). "Whispering death". Australian Book Review (334): 27. Richards, Tim (2011). Thought crimes. Black Inc.

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Michelle Griffin, "The Carmel Bird in the bush", The Age, 21 February 2004, Review, p. 3
  2. ^ Middlemiss, Perry. "Carmel Bird".
  3. ^ AustLit. "Carmel Bird".
  4. ^ Tasmanian Writers' Centre. "Carmel Bird".
  5. ^ "Carmel Bird wins the 2016 Patrick White Award". ANZ LitLovers LitBlog. 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  6. ^ "Mildura Writers' Festival, Thursday 20 - Sunday 23 July 2006". Arts Festival 07 Mildura/Wentworth. Archived from the original on 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2007-08-04.

External links[edit]