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 7 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.
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 not only in Australia, but also in Indonesia and China. 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).