Original Creative Work
Margaret River Press
School of Arts, Regional and Professional Studies / ECU South West Research Centre
Research Background : This story uses archival research from the Battye Library collection to construct a historic narrative relevant to regional identity. It creatively examines the concept of endophilia or obsession with where we are from, through the motif of fire and its destructive impact on identity.
Research Contribution : This work contributes to understandings of the impact of fire on our lives in regional Australia and is part of an anthology for this purpose. The story of the Dwellingup fires of 1961 is well known in oral history but the subject of only one published work, a local history published privately. This is the first creative work published on this event and it contextualises the fire in an authentic historic period.
Research Significance : My submission was long-listed from 300 submissions by the Editorial Board of Margaret River Press, a group of leading WA literature practitioners. Holyoake was one of 25 submissions then selected for publication by editor Dr Delys Bird, a leading WA figure in Australian literature at UWA’s Westerly Centre, and editor of Westerly, WA’s oldest and most prestigious literary journal. The anthology, Fire, is distributed in Australia and New Zealand and has been excerpted for use in Australian literature and writing courses. Australian author and editor John Kinsella reviewed the significance of the anthology as 'being a superb and necessary anthology of literature, images and commentary on our relationship to fire in its many manifestations. The works collected here are confronting, challenging, vital and also healing… Editor Delys Bird and Margaret River Press have given us a landmark book that is much needed in these times, and will be much discussed'. Holyoake was selected by Writing WA for a public reading in the South West region in December 2013.