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Pete Atkin >> Words >> Clive James receives NSW Premier's "Special Award"
(Message started by: Kevin Cryan on Today at 10:43)

Title: Clive James receives NSW Premier's "Special Award"
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 10:43
At the New South Wales Premier's Literary and History Awards on Friday night, the NSW Arts Minister, George Souris, presented Clive James, in his absence, with a special award (http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/about/awards/premiers_awards/2012_Literary_award_winners.html). The award is given under exceptional circumstances, is not open to entry and cannot be awarded to a work that has been submitted to the awards for consideration.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, who was not present but whose comments were read out, said recognising James's achievements in this way was a "fitting tribute to a great Australian writer and a great son of Sydney".

He said James had had an "extraordinarily prolific and successful career" and has "pioneered and championed the idea of an internationalised Australian culture through his poetry, novels, memoirs, works of literary criticism and scriptwriting".

In an acceptance speech read by Stephen Romei, a judge and the literary editor of The Australian, Clive said he that he was unable to travel far because of his ailments, which include leukaemia. Recalling the childhood recorded in his first volume of Unreliable Memoirs (1980), he said said, "Kogarah was the Paris of the South Pacific. My ideas of sophistication revolved around Parry's milk bar in Railway Parade, Kogarah.

"If I could be with you to accept this magnificent prize in person, I would spend the first few dollars in Parry's, shouting everybody present to a fruit sundae."

He noted previous recipients of the award included celebrated poets A. D. Hope (http://allpoetry.com/A_D_Hope) and Judith Wright. (http://www.poemhunter.com/judith-wright/)

"When I was first a student at Sydney University, both of them were still alive," said in a prepared acceptance speech.

"They set a daunting example. Even more daunting now is the way their work lives on. To leave a paragraph or a poem in the national memory: it's the best, the very best, thing a writer can hope for.

..."Since this award is an acknowledgement of a lifetime's effort, I am doubly glad to have it, because it validates the effort I put in my writing, even when I was too young to strike a moderate tone.

"In fact none of us, in my generation, were moderate. We wanted the world. But we were right to think NSW was a good place to start wanting it."

Kevin Cryan

Title: The Australian
Post by Ian Chippett on 12.12.12 at 18:39

Title: Re: Clive James receives NSW Premier's "Special Award"
Post by BogusTrumper on 13.12.12 at 22:10
Odd that the lifetime award was the smallest in financial terms

Title: Re: Clive James receives NSW Premier's "Special Award"
Post by Kevin Cryan on 14.12.12 at 07:43
That's probably because, unlike the other awards,  the nomintion for the award comes from the judging panel, and from it only.

Under exceptional circumstances, the judges may propose that a Special Award be made, either for an Australian literary work that is not readily covered by existing Awards categories or in recognition of an Australian writer's achievements generally.

Kevin Cryan

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