— Sophie Cunningham - City of Trees
“I grab at the trees I see on the way down in an effort to break the fall. I look at what I see around me as I tumble, for I want to remember it all – the landscapes, the animals that may not survive the impact."
Australian writer Sophie Cunningham and Aotearoa writer Rebecca Priestley have both published books that explore relationships between ourselves and our environment. Why is it that we destroy the things we love? The places we rely on to keep us alive, inspired and safe? Sophie and Rebecca discuss the writing of this conundrum.
Sophie Cunningham is the author of five books, City of Trees, Geography, Bird, Melbourne, and Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy. She is a former publisher and editor, was a co-founder of the Stella Prize and is now an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University’s Non/fiction Lab. In 2019 Sophie Cunningham was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her contributions to literature.
Aotearoa / New Zealand
Rebecca Priestley is an associate professor at Victoria University of Wellington and director of the university’s Centre for Science in Society. Rebecca was science columnist for the NZ Listener for six years and is the author or editor of five previous books, the most recent of which is Dispatches from Continent Seven: An Anthology of Antarctic Science (2016). She is a winner of the Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize (2009) and the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize (2016). In 2018 she was made a Companion of the Royal Society Te Apārangi. She has an undergraduate degree in geology, a PhD in the history of science and an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters.
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