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Adam Ford

Author, Storyteller/Performer

Adam Ford is a poet, novelist and short storialist who also makes zines and draws comics. He lives in Chewton, in Central Victoria.

Where were you born?

I was born in Ballarat, moved to Melbourne to study a science degree that I’ve never used professionally, then moved to Chewton in Central Victoria to slow things down with a family and some chooks.

What other jobs have you had?

My day-job involves editing websites and training young people in the principles of writing for the web. Before that I’ve mainly worked as a book editor or a library assistant, with brief stints as a security guard and a fried-chicken seller.

What themes are recurring in your work?

My early poetry was concerned with the minutiae of everyday city life, as was my first novel, Man Bites Dog. Later poetry and stories have riffed on a manifesto I wrote called the NeoPulp ManiFesto, which pushed for the merging of tropes from both genre and realism writing. My writing in The Third Fruit is a Bird and Heroes and Civilians is what might be considered “realist science fiction”. My zines are also in the personal observation/minutiae camp, and my comics are just an outlet for me to be silly.

What have been the highlights of your career?

In 1998 Not Quite the Man for the Job, my second poetry collection, was nominated for the Age Book of the Year award and won the ACT-based REACT Top Young Adult Read award. Man Bites Dog, my first novel, received honorable mention in the 2003 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, which was lovely. In 2009 my poem “A Timid Work Friendship” won the City of Melbourne’s Moving Galleries Judge’s Choice Award.

That’s probably enough about awards. In terms of personal highlights, reading as part of a poetry slam at the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe in New York City would have to rank pretty highly, as would working with Bud Tingwell on a short animation film I made. Having Nick Earls and Michael Leunig say nice things about my writing for back-cover blurbs was lovely, and working as a writer-in-residence at the State Library of Victoria, working with their pulp fiction and comics collection was a real treat.

Where have your works been published?

Aside from the novels and short story/poetry collections, I’ve had poems and short stories published in cordite, Overland, Meanjin, Aurealis, pindeldyboz and Going Down Swinging. My comics have appeared in anthologies including Tango, Short and Conceived on a Tram. My zines have appeared in various locales, including the Castlemaine Railway Station and the Hansard library at Parliament House, Melbourne.

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