Meaningful works of criticism are vital to writers. Writing criticism informs creative practice and often offers an important starting point for longer form works. Sydney Review of Books Editor Catriona Menzies-Pike sits down with The Monthly’s music critic and author Anwen Crawford (No Document), Gomeroi poet and essayist Alison Whittaker (Blakwork) and writer and artist George Haddad (Populate and Perish) for a deep dive into the long-standing value of informed and robust criticism and the opportunities it presents to writers.

Anwen Crawford (Australian)

Anwen Crawford

Anwen Crawford is a Sydney-based writer, critic and visual artist. Her essays have appeared in publications including The New Yorker, The White Review, The Monthly, Best Australian Essays and Sydney Review of Books. She is the author of Live Through This (Bloomsbury, 2015), and her second book, No Document, was recently published by Giramondo.

Alison Whittaker (Australian)

Alison Whittaker

Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi poet, essayist and legal scholar. She is a Research Fellow at the Jumbunna Institute. In 2017–18, Alison was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard Law School where she was named Dean’s Scholar in Race, Gender and Criminal Law. Her second book Blakwork was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister's Literary Award. Her most recent book, Fire Front, is an anthology of, and about, First Nations published poetry.

George Haddad (Australian)

George Haddad

George Haddad is a writer and artist practising on Gadigal land. His debut book Populate and Perish was the 2016 Viva La Novella Prize winner. His short story ’Kátharsis’ was awarded the 2018 Neilma Sidney prize. George’s work can be read at Overland, The Lifted Brow, Sydney Review of Books, Seizure, Runway and un Magazine. Other works have been exhibited at Firstdraft, ReadingRoom, Kudos and Metro Arts. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Writing and Society Centre, Western Sydney University, where he is also a sessional tutor.

Catriona Menzies-Pike (Australian)

Catriona Menzies-Pike

Catriona Menzies-Pike is the Editor of The Sydney Review of Books.