Bibliographic Notes on Selected Irish-Australian Writers


This essay surveys the viewpoints of selected Irish-Australian writers: the anthologists Bill Wannan, Vincent Woods and Colleen Burke; then Bernard O’Dowd, Brian Elliott, Tom Inglis Moore, Gerard Windsor, Vincent Buckley, Frank Molloy, Dymphna Lonergan and Patrick Morgan. These writers provide evidence that an ocean of Irish-Australian literature exists; that the literary forms of ballad and song were important to earlier generations; and several of them claim that Irish-Australian writers have played a major role in the development of Australian literature. Notes on publications in the Irish language and on the Irish-Scots link are included. The selected bibliographic notes in this essay contribute to the systematic study needed to reverse the neglect of Irish-Australian literature in major forums.

The invitation from Professor Ronan McDonald to a symposium in late 2019 on ‘What Is Irish-Australian literature?’, with its implication of dealing with an unknown reality, led me to collect my scattered notes on what previous authors had said it was, or assumed it to be, and to write this essay.1 Before proceeding, two of my presuppositions need to be tabled: firstly, that Irish-Australian literature is here used as a broad term covering writings of varying genres which connect Australia and Ireland through author’s ancestry, subject matter or language; and second, that in recent decades authors discussing Australian literature often use a framework which neglects Irish-Australian literature as a topic. Popular reference works such as Bennett, Strauss, Wallace-Crabbe Birns and McNeer; Hergenhan, Bennett et al; Sarwal and Sarwal; Pierce; and Webby have passing mentions of Irish matters but no chapter or article on Irish-Australian literature. The framework in question summarises…

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Published 30 September 2021 in Special Issue: The Uses of Irish-Australian Literature . Subjects: Ballads, Folklore, History, Memory, Oral tradition, Vincent Buckley, Bernard O'Dowd, Settler mobilities, Irish-Australian Literature, Irish-Australian Identity.

Cite as: Noone, Val . ‘Bibliographic Notes on Selected Irish-Australian Writers.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 36, no. 2, 2021, doi: 10.20314/als.81233b0eb7.