UQP celebrates 70th anniversary with anthology and events

June 15, 2018 | Members

The University of Queensland Press (UQP) is celebrating its 70th birthday this year. Established in 1948, UQP was originally founded as a traditional university press, but it later branched out into trade publishing.

To mark the occasion, the independent publisher will release an anthology featuring fiction, nonfiction and poetry from 25 past and present UQP authors. Called Reading the Landscape: A Celebration of Australian Writing, it was officially launched on 15 June at the State Library of Queensland, with writers Matthew Condon, Julie Koh and Melissa Lucasheko discussing their contributions to the anthology.

UQP publishing director Madonna Duffy said the anthology was a ‘literary celebration and “thank you” to all those who read and support Australian literature’. ‘UQP’s seventieth anniversary has been an important opportunity to reflect on seven decades of Australian storytelling,’ she added.

The publisher will also host a number of events to celebrate its 70 years: a gala event at Brisbane’s Customs House, where David Malouf will give a keynote address; the Fryer Lecture in Australian Literature, which will feature Nicholas Jose reflecting on his publishing history with UQP; and an anniversary exhibition at the Fryer Library, featuring memorabilia from UQP’s 70 years.

Exhibition highlights include a cabinet dedicated to Peter Carey (who has published more than half of his books with UQP); original manuscripts from past and present UQP authors including Thea Astley, David Malouf, Peter Carey, Herb Wharton, John Blight and Judith Rodriguez; a cabinet dedicated to the David Unaipon Award and winners; and features on the publishing process itself. UQP will also collaborate with the Brisbane Writers Festival to put together a special event in celebration of the milestone.

‘We have been privileged to launch the careers of some of Australia’s finest writers over these 70 years and it is this uncovering of new voices and sharing of stories that is at the core of what we do,’ said Duffy. ‘As one of Australia’s longest-standing independent publishing houses, we have the freedom and responsibility to offer readers a diverse range of perspectives and we remain committed to producing high-quality literary fiction, poetry, nonfiction and children’s books that challenge perceptions and boundaries and move hearts and minds.’

Duffy also emphasised how excited she was at the small publisher’s future. ‘As a reader first and a publisher second, it has been my great career honour to work at UQP,’ said Duffy. ‘I have read UQP books all my life and I remain energised and inspired by the prospect of what publishing lies ahead. From David Malouf to Omar Sakr, Jacqueline Kent to Amy McQuire, Matthew Condon, Melissa Lucashenko, Tony Birch, Steven Herrick and Jane Caro to name a few, the next year is packed full of incredible writers and stories we can’t wait to share.’

This article originally appeared in Books + Publishing on 8 June 2018 and is reprinted with permission.

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