The three judges for the 2020 Anne Elder Award panel are Marcella Polain, Rae White, and Toby Fitch. Marcella is a former recipient of this significant award, while both Rae and Toby have been commended for the prize in both 2018 and 2013 respectively.
Marcella Polain was born in Singapore, and migrated to Australia with her Armenian mother and Irish father. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Writing program at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia. Marcella has published three collections of poetry. Her first, Dumbstruck (1996, Five Islands Press), won the Anne Elder Award. Therapy like Fish: new and selected poems (John Leonard Press, 2007) was short-listed for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize. She has just completed a fourth collection. Marcella has also published two novels. The most recent, Driving into the Sun (2019, Fremantle Press), was written with the assistance of an Australia Council grant. Her first novel, The Edge of the World (2008, Fremantle Press) was short-listed for a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for First Book. Marcella’s writing has been published internationally and in translation. In 2015, she was awarded the gold medal by the Writers’ Union of Armenia.
Rae White is a non-binary transgender writer, educator and zine maker. Their poetry collection Milk Teeth (University of Queensland Press) won 2017 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, was shortlisted for 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and commended in the 2018 Anne Elder Award. Rae has previously judged 2019 Anne Elder Award and 2020 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction. Rae recently completed a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship for their YA verse manuscript Welcome Home. They are the editor of #EnbyLife, a journal for non-binary and gender diverse creatives.
Toby Fitch is poetry editor of Overland and a sessional academic in creative writing at the University of Sydney. His most recent book of poetry is Where Only the Sky had Hung Before while his next, Sydney Spleen, is forthcoming with Giramondo Publishing in 2021. His first, Rawshock, was commended for the Anne Elder Award, 2013. Image by Claire Albrecht.