Monday, 25 August 2014

Noëlle Janaczewska

Yellow Yellow Sometimes Blue, 2018. Photo by Teniola Komolafe

Noëlle Janaczewska is Sydney-based playwright, poet, essayist, and the author of The Book of Thistles (UWA Publishing, 2017). Much of her work deals with history’s gaps and silences, focusing on people, plants, creatures and events overlooked or marginalised in official records. Noëlle’s work has been produced, broadcast and published locally and internationally, and in 2014 she received a prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize from Yale University for her body of work as a dramatist.

Noëlle’s poems have been performed live, set to music, and broadcast on ABC Radio National. They have appeared in anthologies and literary journals, in feature films and artists’ books. Her first collection, Scratchland, is being published by UWA Publishing in its Poetry Series and will be out early 2020.

In Australia, Noëlle’s plays have won two AWGIE (Australian Writers' Guild Industry Excellence) Awards for Community and Youth Theatre (Yellow Yellow Sometimes Blue, 2019: Teacup in a Storm, 2017), a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award (Mrs Petrov’s Shoe), the Playbox-Asialink Playwriting Competition and the Griffin Award (Songket). Her audio works have received eight AWGIE Awards, across drama and nonfiction. 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 Creative Fellowship. 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.

Recent works include: Experiment Street (ABC Radio National, 2019); Yellow Yellow Sometimes Blue (Q Theatre/Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Sydney, 2018); audio scripts for the Rome: City and Empire exhibition (National Museum of Australia and the British Museum, 2018-19); Seoul City Sue (ABC Radio National, 2018) and Good With Maps (Siren Theatre Company, Regional NSW tour, 2018; Edinburgh 2017; Sydney, 2017 and 2016). In 2015 Noëlle performed Dear Scott— her collected letters to the then Minister for Immigration and Border Protection at Melbourne's fortyfivedownstairs. One of a number of pieces she's written to protest the Australian government's treatment of asylum-seekers and refugees.

Since 2006 Noëlle has written 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, spoken word, cultural criticism, reportage and the tradition of the illustrated lecture. She has presented these performance essays in Indonesia and China as well as Australia. The Hannah First Collection, 1919-1949 was created for the Zendai Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai and Blasted Island—Nauru’s backstory was part of the Sydney Opera House Festival of Dangerous Ideas.

Read more at or check out her food blog at

Noëlle is represented by Cameron Creswell. Contact them at

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