Maxine Beneba Clarke

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Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Afro-Caribbean Australian writer and slam poet.[1][2] Her collection of short stories Foreign Soil won the 2013 Victorian Premier's Unpublished Manuscript Award[3], the 2015 ABIA for Best Literary Fiction,[4] the 2015 Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction,[5] and was shortlisted for the 2015 Stella Prize.[6] Her memoir The Hate Race (2016) won the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award,[7] and her poetry collection Carrying The World won the 2017 Victorian Premier's Prize for Poetry.[8] Her picture book The Patchwork Bike (2016) is illustrated by Melbourne artist Van Thanh Rudd, and won the Crichton Award for Children's Book Illustration.[9] Clarke is a contributor to The Saturday Paper.[10]


Maxine Beneba Clarke was born in Sydney, to parents of Afro-Caribbean heritage who had migrated to Australia in the 1970s.[11] She has said: "Cousins, aunts, and uncles of mine have settled all over the world: including in Germany, America, Switzerland, Australia, England, and Barbados. Mine is a complex migration history that spans four continents and many hundreds of years: a history that involves loss of land, loss of agency, loss of language, and loss, transformation, and reclamation of culture."[12] She attended school in Kellyville and Baulkham Hills,[13] before going on to earn a Bachelor of Creative Arts/Law degree[1] from the University of Wollongong.[3] She currently lives in Melbourne.[13]


Clarke has received several writing awards and fellowships, including:


Clarke's works include:[1]

  • The Hate Race (2016), an autobiography
  • Carrying The World (2016), a collection of poetry
  • The Patchwork Bike (2016), a picture book illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd
  • Foreign Soil (2014), a collection of short stories
  • Nothing Here Needs Fixing (2013), a collection of poetry
  • Gil Scott Heron is on Parole (2008), a collection of poetry

As editor

  • The Best Australian Stories 2017 (Black Inc., 2017)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Maxine Beneba Clarke"Paid subscription required. Austlit. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  2. ^ "Maxine Beneba Clarke". The Wheeler Centre. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Sullivan, Jane (3 May 2014). "Maxine Beneba Clarke". The Sydney Morning Herald. ISSN 0312-6315. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "2015 ABIA Winners". ABIA Awards. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Indie Book Awards". Indie Book Awards. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  6. ^ "Foreign Soil". Stella Prize. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  7. ^ "The Hate Race", Hachette Australia.
  8. ^ a b "Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017". The Wheeler Centre. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  9. ^ "The Patchwork Bike" at Readings.
  10. ^ "Maxine Beneba Clarke". The Saturday Paper. 12 July 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  11. ^ Beejay Silcox, "Racism in Australia: Maxine Beneba Clarke writes from experience", The Australian, 6 August 2016.
  12. ^ Maxine Beneba Clarke, "Here Comes the Fourth Culture", PowellsBooks.Blog, 3 January 2017.
  13. ^ a b Andrew Cattanach, "Maxine Beneba Clarke, author of Foreign Soil, answers Ten Terrifying Questions", Booktopia, 30 April 2014.
  14. ^ "Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship". Writers Victoria. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 

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