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LITERARY ICON WINS MAJOR AWARD

Renowned poet and writer, Dr Margaret Scott, was today awarded the Australia Council Writers’ Emeritus award for a significant contribution to the arts over a long and productive career.

‘Margaret Scott is a remarkable literary talent,’ said Jennifer Bott, Australia Council CEO. ‘Her storytelling ability, the ease with which she blends the colloquial and the luminous in her poetry–coupled with her famous sense of humour–make Dr Scott a unique and much-loved Australian icon,’ she said.

Dr Scott is one of Australia’s best-known poets, writers, academics and broadcasters. Her writing has been published extensively in Australia and overseas, including Visited (1983), The Black Swans (1998), The Baby Farmer (1990), Family album: A novel of secrets and memories (2000), and Collected Poems (2000).

Immigrating to Australia in 1959 from England, Dr Scott settled in Tasmania where she still lives. She worked as an academic in the English Department of the University of Tasmania for over 20 years, where she taught and mentored many young writers.

Her writing expresses a deep love of the Tasman Peninsular, its landscape and people. In 1997, she wrote Port Arthur: A Story of Strength and Courage in response to the massacre in 1996.

She has a long-time involvement in broadcasting in Tasmania, as well as national appearances on ABC TV’s popular ‘Great Debate’ series and ‘Good News Week’.

The Emeritus Writers’ award acknowledges the achievements of writers over the age of 65 who have made outstanding and lifelong contributions to Australian literature. Previous award winners include Don’o Kim, Eleanor Dark, Ray Lawler, Barbara Jefferis, Christina Stead, Barry Oakley and Judith Wright McKinney.

Dr Scott accepted the award today in Hobart at a ceremony held in her honour as part of the Ten Days on the Island festival. The ceremony coincided with a meeting of the Australia Council and was attended by all Australia Council members.

The event also marked the launch by Arts Tasmania of Margaret Scott – a little more, a collection of Margaret’s poetry, fiction and essays, interspersed with tributes from her friends and peers, including Barry Jones, Christopher Koch, Richard Flanagan, Phillip Adams, Bob Ellis, Mikey Robins and others. It is available at Hobart bookshops and nationally through ABC Shops.

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