from the editor's desk


An Open Letter Against the Closure of UWAP

Westerly were dismayed to learn about the proposal to close UWA Publishing (UWAP). We remain committed to supporting UWAP, and as part of our efforts we are pleased to reprint the open letter that appeared in The Saturday Paper along with its complete and impressive list of signatories.

This letter has travelled to the far reaches of the world to collect these signatures, so collating them has been a difficult process. If you signed the letter and do not see your name here, please contact us. Unfortunately, no new signatures can be added at this point.

Thanks to all involved for their support!

We, the undersigned, protest the decision by the University of Western Australia (UWA) to close University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). We protest for our wages and the wages of other writers. We protest for designers, printers, bookstores, IT professionals, and other associated industries. We protest for our historians, scientists, workers in politics, academics, and truth seekers. We protest for the emerging writers and academics UWAP consistently provides with first publication, and enables publication elsewhere through recognition, prizes, and events. We protest for the history and current reality of our West Australian First Nations, so recently minted as public discourse, and well attended at UWAP under the exemplary watch of Terri-ann White. We are without doubt this closure will substantially cut down Indigenous voices in writing and the publication of local First Nations’ substantiated and researched history. In turn, competing for limited opportunities with academic publishers outside Western Australia, shutting down UWAP will cut chances for publication of First Nation voices in other states. We protest for our culture and for those not born into it yet. They should have UWAP press to be proud of as we have every reason to be proud of it now. 

We accept no economic argument. Money has been found for the arts and for academic research in the past; and it will be found again in the future. That is because we understand the society we live in is a dull and lifeless prison without these things.

We are writers, students, librarians, academics, artists, performers, business-people, and we are the people who take wages and delight from all these pursuits. We are everyone who can read and wants to read well. UWAP is Australia’s second oldest university publisher, a well-organized and effective business, and an asset to us all. If the proposal is executed, every one of us will be hurt, including those that are actively seeking the closure of UWAP because this will be their legacy.

We call on the public to petition the Chancellor of UWA, Robert French, and the Vice Chancellor, Dawn Freshwater, in respectful terms on this issue. We ask everyone to contact local, state, and national political officers to encourage engagement with UWAP, again in the most respectful and considered terms. We seek an amicable solution on this matter at the earliest possible date.

On behalf of #Save UWAP and in good faith, all of the following.


Kim Scott, writer    JM Coetzee, Nobel Laureate   Tom Keneally, AO, author, ASA Gold Medal 2019, Booker Prize 1982, Oscar      Prof Gail Jones, academic and writer      Josephine Wilson, Winner Miles Franklin Award, 2017      Emeritus Professor DJ Haskell, AM, poet, essayist & editor     John Kinsella, for the complete demilitarisation of universities, schools, and places of learning      Adam Zagajewski (Poland), winner of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature,  the Griffin Poetry Prize Lifetime Recognition Award, and the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature, the Bronze Cross of Merit, a member of the order Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts and entered into the Legion d’Honneur     Heather Rose, Stella Prize-Winning author    Nigel Featherstone, novelist / Visiting Fellow, UNSW Canberra      Honorary Associate Professor Johanna Rendle-Short, writer and academic, retired Associate Dean     Geordie Williamson, Author, Chief Literary Critic, The Australian    Dr Toby Fitch, Poet, Poetry Editor of Overland, Lecturer in Creative Writing at University of Sydney      Michele Seminara, Managing Editor and Publisher, Verity La creative arts journal   Dr Luke Fischer, Poet, writer, scholar      Dr Martin Edmond, author & independent scholar, Recipient NZ PM’s Award for Excellence in Non-fiction     Dr Glenda Guest, writer, The Commonwealth Writers Prize, Best First Book 2010     Chris Pash, author, Chair, Australian Society of Authors      Charmaine Papertalk Green, poet and writer    Prof. Anita Heiss, author, academic, University of Queensland     Peter Rose, UWAP author     Marion May Campbell, novelist, Associate Professor Professional & Creative Writing, Deakin University     Dr Charlotte Wood, AM, writer    Robert Adamson, poet and author, Co-Director Paper Bark Press, CAL Chair in Poetry, Faculty of Arts and Social Science UTS (2013-2015)    Philip Salom, poet and novelist     Danielle Binks, Author and Literary Agent, Jacinta di Mase Management    Matt Hetherington, Murwillumbah, NSW    Jon Doust, author    Dr Nadia Rhook, Lecturer, writer, poet, School of Humanities and Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia    Dr Richard James Allen, poet, filmmaker, performer    Associate Professor Julienne van Loon, novelist, essayist, Vice Chancellor’s Principal Research Fellow, RMIT University, Honorary Fellow in Writing, University of Iowa    Dr Stuart Cooke, Poet, scholar, translator, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing & Literary Studies, Griffith University   Professor David Morley FRSL, National Teaching Fellow, Warwick Writing Programme    Anne Casey, poet, journalist, Senior Poetry Editor, Swinburne Journals    Dr Karen Pearlman, writer, filmmaker, academic, Macquarie University    Elizabeth Campbell, poet, teacher    Andrew Sant, poet, writer     Dr Sandra Renew, poet, editor and publisher, Not Very Quiet    Dr Caren Florance, book designer, artist, writer, sessional academic    LK Holt, poet    Dr Toby Davidson, poet, critic, senior lecturer at Macquarie University   John Allison, poet and novelist    Judith Beveridge, poet, retired academic    David Stavanger, Red Room Poetry, Senior Project Manager, award-winning UWAP poet     Chris Barron, poet, archivist     Dr Judith Crispin, poet, artist, Poetry Editor of The Canberra Times     Professor Christopher Kelen, poet, scholar, publisher     Dr Gareth Jenkins, poet, artist, editor     Stephen Edgar, poet    Dr Judith Bishop, poet, linguist     K.F.Pearson, poet, publisher    Dr Noelle Janaczewska, playwright, poet, essayist    Dr Mark Tredinnick, poet, essayist, teacher    Dr Vivian Smith FAHA, poet, retired academic   Tricia Dearborn, poet, writer, editor   Dr Dominique Hecq, poet, writer, scholar    Zenobia Frost, poet, editor, scholar    Professor David McCooey, poet, critic, academic    Dr Di Cousens, poet, photographer, Tibetologist    Sarah St Vincent Welch, poet, writer, editor, image-maker   Professor David Brooks, poet, writer, scholar   Distinguished Professor Jen Webb, poet, academic, editor for Meniscus Literary Journal and Axon: Creative Explorations (scholarly journal)     Judy Johnson, poet    Dr Tamsin Kerr, Director, Cooroora Institute    Dr Tina Giannoukos, poet, writer, independent scholar, and editor-in-chief at Melbourne Poets Union    Dr Kathleen Mary Fallon, freelance writer and academic   Associate Professor Maria Takolander, writer, academic    Dr Eden Liddelow, writer and editor    Dr Robyn Rowland AO, poet, writer, retired Professor    Michelle Leber, poet    Dr Eugen Bacon, writer, editor    Anthony Lynch, writer, editor, publisher    Angela Gardner, writer, artist, publisher (lightrappress & foame)    Dr Belinda Castles, novelist and Lecturer in Creative Writing, University of Sydney   Alison Croggon, writer, editor and critic, Melbourne   Dr Jennifer H Crone, poet, scholar, and University of Sydney Library assistant    Anne M Carson, poet, essayist, PhD Candidate    Susan Fealy, poet and Clinical Psychologist    Dr Andy Kissane, poet, writer, Publisher, Puncher & Wattmann    Dr Anne Elvey, poet and Managing Editor, Plumwood Mountain journal    Dr Michael Farrell, poet, Fellow of Curtin University    Ben Etherington, Senior Lecturer Western Sydney University and Edward Said Fellow, Columbia University    Dr Susan Pyke, writer and teacher (University of Melbourne)    Dr Vanessa Berry, writer, Lecturer in Creative Writing, Department of English, University of Sydney    Martin Dolan, poet and PhD candidate    Ali Whitelock, poet     Dr Peter Boyle, poet and translator, Casual Lecturer with the Writing and Society Centre, Western Sydney University     Sue Woolfe, novelist, researcher, Casual Lecturer NIDA, Honorary Associate Sydney University    Dr Kyra Giorgi, writer and researcher    Mira Walker, poet    Sarah Myles, writer, novelist   Libby Angel, poet, novelist     Dr Sarah Rice, poet, academic, writer    Mike Ladd, writer and broadcaster      Melinda Smith, poet    Anna Rosner Blay, author, editor    Lisa Hill, author, literary critic    Patricia Sykes, poet, librettist    Associate Professor Sarah Holland-Batt, poet, critic, academic at Queensland University of Technology    Dr Beth Spencer, author, poet, critic    Michelle Cahill, author, editor, critic    Vicky Tsaconas, poet, writer    Angela Elizabeth Smith, freelance writer & publishing professional     Dr Sophie Masson AM, author, Chair, New England Writers’ Centre, Board Member, Small, Press Network, Publishing director, Christmas Press           Charles D’Anastasi, poet    Dr Jacquie Garton-Smith Medical Practitioner (MBBS UWA 1991; FRACGP 1995) and writer (Four Centres Emerging Writers Program 2019-2020 Participant)    Dr Nick Richardson, author and academic, Adjunct Professor of Journalism, LaTrobe University, Melbourne     Emeritus Professor Ian Gibbins, BSc (Hons), PhD, former Professor of Anatomy, Flinders University; now poet and video artist   Dr. Katy Kell, reader, author, researcher     Dr Fiona Burrows, BA (Hons), PhD, CELTA, author-illustrator, UWA staff member and graduate    Maureen Freely, journalist, novelist, translator, and Professor   Thuy On, Arts journalist and critic, books editor of The Big Issue    Alice Stephens, writer    Dr Sylvia Martin, biographer and UWA Publishing author    Renee Pettitt-Schipp, author, UWA Publishing      Sisonke Msimang, writer     Rachel Bin Salleh, Publisher and author, Magabala Books    Emily Sun reader, writer, human     Danijela Kambaskovic, writer and scholar     Dr Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes, writer and Lecturer, Curtin University     Associate Professor Lubica Ucnik, Murdoch University, author    Doug Wallen, Arts journalist for The Big Issue, Books + Publishing and more    Meredi Ortega, poet and writer    Sue Ashford, writer, academic    Coral Carter, poet, editor, publisher    Dr Liana Joy Christensen, author, poet, academic, Murdoch University    Jenny de Garis, MA (ECU), writer    Zoe Deleuil, writer    Dr Sarah Drummond, author, PhD (History) Murdoch University    Warren Flynn, author, academic, UWA Albany Campus      Dr Wendy Glassby PhD, writer    Sarah Hay, writer     Dr Rebecca Higgie, writer, winner 2019 Fogarty Literary Award    Dr J R Jackson, poet, writer and educator    Dr Michelle Johnston, MBBS, FACEM. Emergency Physician & UWAP author     Norman Jorgensen, author of Australian-based books for Children & Young People    Kim Mahood, writer     Dr Carolyn Masel, poet, Lecturer Australian Catholic University    Dr. Meg Mundell, writer, researcher, wditor    Kristina Olsson, author    Sally Piper, author    Holden Sheppard, author, Deputy Chair WritingWA    Barbara Temperton MA, writer, WA Premier’s Book Award for Poetry 2002    Tineke Van der Eecken, writer, Board Member WritingWA    Annamaria Weldon, UWAP author   Alan Fyfe, writer     Ravi Shankar, University of Sydney    Dr Michelle Michau-Crawford, UWAP author    Richard Francis, author and Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing     Melissa Bruce, author, editor, teacher, PEN Sydney Committee Margaret Ferrell, author, editor, reviewer, member of the Society of Women Writers WA.

Academics and Publishers

Anna Moulton, CEO, Magabala Books   Kate Rendell, Philanthropy Manager, Magabala Books    Gene Eaton, Marketing Manager, Magabala Books    Catelyn Dowel, Sales, Magabala Books    Margaret Whiskin, Editor, Magabala Books    Irene Huang, Financial Manager, Magabala Books   Eve Vincent, Senior Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University, Co-editor, Unstable Relations: Indigenous People and Environmentalism in Contemporary Australia (UWAP, 2016)     Dr Gaby Naher, Director, Left Bank Literacy President, Australian Literary Agent’s Association    Kent MacCarter, Managing Editor of Cordite Poetry Review and Publisher of Cordite Books  Dr Dalia Nassar, Philosopher, University of Sydney    Dr Catherine Noske, Lecturer, Editor of Westerly Magazine, University of Western Australia    John Attridge, Senior Lecturer in English, UNSW Sydney    Dimitra Harvey, Poet, Poetry Editor for Mascara Literary Review    Dr Paul Munden, Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Canberra, Royal Literary Fund Fellow, University of Leeds, Poetry Editor for Westerly Magazine    Russell Grigg, Psychoanalyst, philosopher, writer    Dr Richard Eldridge, Charles and Harriett Cox McDowell Professor of Philosophy, Swarthmore College, General Series Editor: Oxford Studies in Philosophy and Literature    Nick Riemer, English and Linguistics, University of Sydney    Shane Strange, Publisher, Recent Work Press, Poet, writer, academic, Festival Director, Poetry on the Move festival    Emeritus Professor Sasha Grishin AM, FAHA, Art Historian, Art Critic and Curator     Jennifer Rutherford, Professor, Director of the JM Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice     Dr Antonia Pont, Senior Lecturer, Writing and Literature, Deakin University    Professor Kathryn Millard, writer, filmmaker and academic, Macquarie University    Isabelle Hesse, Lecturer, Department of English, The University of Sydney     Sean Pryor, Senior Lecturer in English, UNSW Australia    Dr Isabelle Wentworth, teacher, University of NSW     Dr Teya Brooks Pribac, independent scholar and multidisciplinary artist    Dr Elizabeth King, Research Associate, UNSW Sydney    Dr Indigo Perry, memoirist, Senior Lecturer Writing & Literature Deakin University Melbourne    James Kane, Lecturer in English, University of Sydney    Dr Noel Waite, Senior Lecturer, School of Design, RMIT University    Dr Shaun Bell, Educational Developer, Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) UNSW Sydney    Paul Eggert FAHA, Professor Emeritus, Loyola University Chicago and UNSW    Louis de Vries, Publisher, Hybrid Publishers    Associate Professor Goetz Richter, musician and philosopher at the University of Sydney, Pianist and music theory teacher at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music    Sue Terry Litblogger, retired librarian/archivist    Stephen Cassidy, Cultural researcher, writer and commentator, Adjunct, University of Canberra    Associate Professor Anne Surma, Murdoch University     Dr Andrew Broertjes, History    Claire Jones, UWA Lecturer, Head of ETAWA (English Teachers Association)    Dr Peta Murray, Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow, RMIT University    Dr Stayci Taylor, Lecturer, RMIT University     Dr Melody Ellis, Lecturer, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University     Dr Rose Michael, Lecturer, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University    Dr Brigid Magner, Senior Lecturer, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University     Dr Toni Roberts, Program Manager, Bachelor of Communication Design, RMIT University    Dr Linda Daley, Senior Lecturer, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University    Dr Jessica Wilkinson, Senior Lecturer, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University     Dr Smiljana Glisovic, Lecturer, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University     Associate Professor Scott Brook, Associate Dean Communication, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University      Ms Sophie Cunningham, Adjunct Professor, RMIT     Ms Fiona Finn, Lecturer, Industry Fellow, research candidate EFM, RMIT University      Dr Deborah Wardle, Lecturer and research assistant, Indigneous Education and Engagement, RMIT    Dr Jo Jones, Senior Lecturer in Literary and Cultural Studies, Deputy Graduate Coordinator, School of MCASI (Media, Culture, Art, Screen and Internet Studies), UWAP author      Dr Caitlin Maling MPhil Cantab, MFA Hou, DPhil Syd    Yvonne Patterson, M. Psych (Clin), MBA, UWA Alumni, Retired Director in WA Human Services Policy including Mental Health, Disability & Community Services; Retired Clinical Psychologist     Paula Nathan AO, M Psych (Clin), Retired Founding Director Centre for Clinical Interventions Health Department WA; Retired Academic UWA Department of Psychology  Dr Raimondo Cortese/Senior Lecturer Theatre, Postgraduate Coordinator, Coordinator, Master of Writing for Performance, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne     James Corby, Professor     Dr Matthew Stephens, Research Librarian, Sydney Living Museums     Dr James Renwick, Former Lecturer in Music Education, University of Sydney    Elisabeth Mulder, Psychologist (retired)     Juno Gemes, artist, photographer, Co-Director Paper Bark Press     Professor Yasmin Haskell FAHA, Cassamarca Foundation Chair in Latin Humanism, UWA     Dr Cecilia Leong-Salobir, Food Historian, Honorary Research Fellow UWA    Dr Amit Sarwal, Senior Lecturer, The University of the South Pacific (Fiji)    Dr Zarrin S Siddiqui, Assessment Lead, UWA Medical School     Dr Andrew Turk     Dr Lydia Wells, Lecturer, School of Law, Murdoch University, PhD Australian Literature, UWA      Dr Quinn Eades, Tracey Banivanua Mar Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer: Gender, Sexuality & Diversity Studies, La Trobe University    Marian Crawford, artist, Senior Lecturer Monash Art Design and Architecture      Prof Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei, Kurrelmeyer Chair in German & Professor in Philosophy, Johns Hopkins University     Dr Jessica White, UQ Amplify Associate Lecture     Jasmin Korte, PhD Research Candidate, School of Social Sciences      Dr Laura Dales, Senior Lecturer in Asian Studies, University of Western Australia      Dr Anna Clarke, Historian     Dr Simone Lazaroo, Author and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, Murdoch University

Associated Industries, Student Representation, and Interested Parties

Nicholas Pounder, Bookseller     Natalie Latter, Owner, Rabble Books & Games     Sam Baker, Owner, Rabble Books & Games     Dr Michael Brennan, Publisher, Vagabond Press    George Dunford, Content Director, ArtsHub/Screenhub     Meg Wilson, Arts Worker     Eamonn Kelly, ESL Teacher      Yingjie M. Cheng, PhD candidate, UNSW      Luke Robinson, PhD candidate in Film Studies, UNSW    Max Bledstein, PhD Candidate in Film Studies, UNSW Sydney     Dr Erin Claringbold, Australian literature PhD graduate     Ian Morrison, Librarian, Hobart    Dr Alicia Marchant, Archivist and Historian, State Library and Archive Service, Libraries Tasmania     Tracy Farr, BSc(Hons) UWA 1984, BA UWA 1990     Stefanie Markidis, PhD candidate, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University     Laura Fulton, PhD candidate, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University      Ms Lucinda Strahan, Lecturer, School of Media and Communication, RMIT, PhD Candidate Material Ecologies Research Network, University of Wollongong      Ms Christine Rogers, PhD candidate and recipient of The Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship, RMIT University     Ms Isabella Capezio, PhD candidate, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University     Jason Rustandi, Student at UWA    Shannon Grey      Denver Kain, Bachelor of Computing student, Curtin University     Stirling Kain, Pelican Magazine Arts Editor, UWA student     Jennifer Jackson, Owner, Paper Bird Children’s Books & Arts    Sandra van Doorn, Founder, Red Paper Kite     Stefen Brazulaitis, Owner, Stefen’s Books     Madison Baitz, Bookseller, Rabble Books & Games    Lockie Cameron, Owner, Paperbark Merchants      Anne Barnetson, Author and Bookseller, New Edition and Rabble Books & Games     Jackie Tang, bookseller     Marijke McDonald, Bookseller, Boffins Books      Beth Kirkland, Visual Artist Josephine Taylor, Daniel Juckes, and Chris Arnold, Westerly Magazine.

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  1. Joyce Parkes says:

    Excellent work. Now, is it possible to reprint that article by Professor Robert White? (See ABR). Regards, Joyce Parkes.

  2. Margaret Ferrell says:

    Although I signed the letter, my name does not appear on the list.

  3. Terri-ann White says:

    Thank you for your solidarity! It is very much appreciated and spirit-raising for the UWAP team. Terri-ann

  4. Kate says:

    Thanks Margaret, I have edited to add it. Please let me know if you would like any revision.

    All best,

  5. […] We have also published an Open Letter in Support of UWAP. Read it here. […]

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