2024 Stella Prize shortlist

Stella has announced the 2024 Stella Prize shortlist and longlist. Scroll down to find out more about the outstanding books selected by this year’s judges.

WINNER ANNOUNCED

2 MAY 2024

STATE LIBRARY VICTORIA

2024 Stella Prize Winner

Sarah Holland-Batt – The Jaguar

Poetry · University of Queensland Press

About the Book


 

With electrifying boldness, Sarah Holland-Batt confronts what it means to be mortal in an astonishing and deeply humane portrait of a father’s Parkinson’s Disease, and a daughter forged by grief.

Opening and closing with startling elegies set in the charged moments before and after a death, and fearlessly probing the body’s animal endurance, appetites and metamorphoses, The Jaguar is marked by Holland-Batt’s lyric intensity and linguistic mastery, along with a stark new clarity of voice.

Here, Holland-Batt is at her most exacting and uncompromising: these ferociously intelligent, insistent poems refuse to look away, and challenge us to view ruthless witness as a form of love.

About the Author


Sarah Holland-Batt

2024 Stella Prize Shortlist

the swift dark tide
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Body Friend
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Feast by Emily O'Grady
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hospital sanya rushdi
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Abandon Every Hope
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Praiseworthy
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Read more about the 12 books longlisted for the 2024 Stella Prize

Graft
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Body Friend
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Feast by Emily O'Grady
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hospital sanya rushdi
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edenglassie melissa lucashenko
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She is the Earth
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Abandon Every Hope
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West Girls 2024 Stella Prize
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the hummingbird effect
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The Anniversary
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Praiseworthy
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the swift dark tide
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Letter from the 2024 Stella Prize Chair, Beejay Silcox

The deliberations for this year’s longlist were the shortest in Stella Prize history. After more than five months of solid reading, and with a pool of 224 entries, it took less than 20 minutes for us to lock down our finalists, so fervent was our consensus. The books on this list have emphatically – joyfully – earned their place.

The swiftness of our decision feels particularly remarkable given the astonishing quality of this year’s entrants. After years of pandemic enervation and isolation, it feels as if something new is brewing in Australian letters – a literature of ambition.

“Ambitious” is a barbed little word in this country, especially for women. But it’s a word we are determined to rescue from the misogyny, faint praise and tall poppy sneering.

The books on our longlist distinguished themselves with their irrepressible ambition. They are books that rattle our cages and dismantle our cultural scripts – books that brim with ideas and desires. Some are genre-bending and genre-busting; others are genre masterclasses. Some are quietly potent; others are bombastic and irrepressible. But they all demand – command – our full-hearted, full-minded attention. Tales of recalibration and reckoning.

With one exception, the longlisted books take narrative form: novels, memoirs, essays. Even the dyed-in-the-wool poets on our panel agreed that this was a mighty year for prose. The future of the Australian narrative is retina-burning bright.


And, once again, nearly half of the books on our have longlist come from small/indie publishing houses, testament to the vital role these publishers play in diversifying the Australian literary landscape – our cultural conversation is so profoundly enriched by their risk-taking.

It has been an honour to chair the 2024 Stella Prize, and to read alongside such a compassionate and insightful panel. My deepest thanks to my fellow judges: Eleanor Jackson, Bram Presser, Yves Rees and Cheryl Leavy.

It is my second year in a row reading for Stella. Since August of 2022, I’ve read close to 500 works by Australian women and non-binary writers. The heartbeat of Australian writing is here. These writers deserve a global readership. It is culturally damning that the great majority of them struggle to eke out a sustainable career at home.

Just one reason why the Stella Prize matters.

Beejay Silcox

Beejay Silcox

2024 Stella Prize Judges

Cheryl Leavy

Cheryl (she/they) is from the Kooma and Nguri Nations in western and central Queensland. The 2022 winner of the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poetry Prize, Cheryl has performed at the Brisbane and Byron Writers Festivals, Queensland Poetry Festival and with Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra. Cheryl is currently working on a children’s book based on her poetry. It will be published by UQP in 2024. She has served on many arts boards, including the Brisbane Writers Festival, where she established and chaired the First Nations Advisory Council.  

Eleanor (she/they) is a Filipino-Australian poet, performer, arts producer, and advocate. Eleanor is the author of Gravidity and Parity (Vagabond Press), which was Highly Commended in the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) Mary Gilmore Award 2022, and winner of Small Press Network Book of the Year 2022. She is also Chair of Peril magazine, which is dedicated to Asian-Australian arts and culture, and producer of the Melbourne Poetry Map. She is a former Vice-Chair of the Stella Prize and Board Member of the Queensland Poetry Festival.

Beejay Silcox

Beejay (she/they) is a writer, literary critic, and the Artistic Director of the Canberra Writers Festival. Her reviews and cultural commentary regularly appear in national arts publications and are increasingly finding an international audience, including in the Times Literary SupplementThe Guardian, and The New York Times. An award-winning creative writing teacher, Beejay has taught workshops across the globe, including in the US and Cairo. Her short stories and essays have been selected for a number of Australian anthologies.

Bram Presser

Bram (he/him) is a semi-reformed punk rocker, recovering academic, lapsed lawyer, occasional critic, and full-time dad. His novel, The Book of Dirt (Text Publishing), won the National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction (US), the Voss Prize, and three categories at the NSW Premier’s Awards. His stories have appeared in numerous journals and collections. He was co-founder of Melbourne Jewish Book Week, and writes the novella focussed Substack A Book For Ants. Bram has previously judged the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, The Age Book of the Year, and SMH Young Novelist Award.

Dr Yves Rees

Dr Yves Rees (they/them) is a writer and historian living in Naarm. They are a Senior Lecturer in History at La Trobe University, co-host of Archive Fever podcast, and author of All About Yves: Notes from a Transition (Allen & Unwin). They are also co-editor of Nothing to Hide: Voices of Trans and Gender Diverse Australia (Allen & Unwin) and Transnationalism, Nationalism and Australian History (Palgrave). Dr Rees was awarded the 2020 ABR Calibre Essay Prize and a 2021 Varuna Residential Fellowship. Their writing has featured in The GuardianThe AgeSydney Review of BooksAustralian Book Review, MeanjinGriffith Review, and Overland. They have judged the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the Calibre Essay Prize. Their next book is forthcoming with NewSouth in 2024.

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