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Adam Ford

Author, Storyteller/Performer

Adam Ford is a poet and zinemaker who lives in Chewton, in Central Victoria. He loves showing people how easy it can be to start making zines or writing poetry themselves.

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 running social media accounts. I also write book reviews. My previous jobs have included working as a book editor and a library assistant, plus brief stints as a security guard and a fried-chicken seller.

What themes are recurring in your work?

The byline on my website is “hand-crafted artisanal word-patterns about anxiety and robots”, and I think that sums things up pretty well.

My early poetry was concerned with everyday city life, as was my first novel, Man Bites Dog. My more recent writing explores the crossover between realism and genre writing, with a focus on the pop culture tropes commonly found in B-movies and superhero comics. My books The Third Fruit is a Bird and Heroes and Civilians are what might be considered “realist science fiction”.

My zines are random collections of experiences and facts that have excited me and made me happy in some way. My “flagship” zine, called Jutchy Ya Ya, is based on the principle that it’s sometimes more fun to put something together quickly and get it out into the world than it is to agonise over every step in its creation.

What have been the highlights of your career?

In terms of personal highlights, performing poems about comic book cyborgs in Melbourne’s best comic shop was a big highlight, as was getting one of those cyborg poems published by Asimov’s Science Fiction, one of the most venerable science fiction magazines.

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

Performing as part of a poetry slam at the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe in New York City also ranks pretty highly, as does working with Bud Tingwell on a short animation film I made.

Where have your works been published?

Aside from my novels and short story/poetry collections, I’ve had poems and stories published in the Age, the New Weekly, 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 are all self-published, but they have appeared in various locales, including the Castlemaine Railway Station and the Hansard library at Parliament House, Melbourne.

Adam will be a guest at the Castlemaine State Festival.

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