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David McCooey (born 1967 in London), poet, critic, musician, and academic. He moved to Perth, Western Australia, with his family in 1970. He studied at University of Western Australia (1985-1988), and completed his doctorate at Sydney University (1990-1993).

He is Personal Chair in Literary Studies and Professional & Creative Writing at Deakin University in Geelong and regularly writes reviews for Australian Book Review and The Age. He has been the recipient of a number of ARC (Australian Research Council) awards. From 2004-2006 he was associate editor of Space: New Writing and in 2013 he was inaugural poetry editor of Australian Book Review.

McCooey, described by Nicholas Birns in The Australian as ‘one of the pioneers of Australian studies of life writing’,[1] is the author of a key critical work in Australian autobiography, Artful Histories: Modern Australian Autobiography, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 1996, and re-published in 2009. Artful Histories won a NSW Premier's Literary Award in 1996, and was shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award for Best Australian Book in 1997. McCooey's first poetry collection, Blister Pack (Salt Publishing), won the 2006 Mary Gilmore Award, and was shortlisted for four other major awards. McCooey is the Deputy General Editor of the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature (Allen & Unwin, published internationally by Norton as The Literature of Australia), which won the 'Special Award' in the 2010 NSW Premier's Literary Awards and a 2010 Australian Educational Publishing Award. McCooey's latest book of poetry Outside (Salt Publishing) was published in 2011, and in 2012 it was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards and was a finalist for the Melbourne Prize for Literature's 'Best Writing' award. In her review of Outside in The Australian, Fiona Wright commented on the collection's 'remarkable power to draw the reader in' and its 'shifting and subtle exploration of creativity'.[2] McCooey's poetry has appeared widely in Australian journals, newspapers, and anthologies, including The Best Australian Poems annual anthology in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 (the final year of the series). His 'poetry soundtracks' (original poetry, music, and sound design) have appeared in various CD issues of literary journals, and have been broadcast on ABC Radio National, 3RRR and elsewhere. An album of poetry soundtracks, Outside Broadcast, was released as a digital download in 2013.[3] His third full-length collection of poetry, Star Struck was published by UWA Publishing in 2016.[4] Writing in The Australian, Geoff Page described the collection as 'disturbingly good and arguably his best so far', concluding that it is an example of 'contemporary Australian poetry at its engaging best'.[5]

McCooey is married to the writer and academic Maria Takolander. His website is

Awards and nominationsEdit




  • Star Struck (2016)
  • Outside (2011)
  • Graphic (2010)
  • Blister Pack (2005)


As Deputy General Editor: Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature (2009), published internationally as The Literature of Australia (2009)

Literary CriticismEdit

Artful Histories: Modern Australian Autobiography (1996)

Professional AssociationsEdit

American Association of Australian Literary Studies

Antipodes: The North American Journal of Australian Literature Life Writing

Association for the Study of Australian Literature


  1. ^ Nicholas Birns, 'On Our Selection', review of The Cambridge History of Australian Literature, The Australian, 4 November 2009, p. 21.
  2. ^ 'Inner Truths Found Outside', The Weekend Australian, 19–20 May 2012, Review: 18-19.
  3. ^ Outside Broadcast,
  4. ^ Star Struck,
  5. ^ Geoff Page, 'Australian poetry: Bruce Dawe, Barnes, Jaireth, McCooey',

External LinksEdit