Creative Writing PhD candidate Anders Villani announced as Australian Book Review’s fourth Rising Star

Monash Arts student Anders Villani has been announced as the Australian Book Review’s (ABR) fourth Rising Star.

Anders is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Monash University, supervised by Dr John Hawke and Dr Ali Alizadeh. His doctoral research concerns poetic representations of trauma.

He began writing for ABR in late 2020, soon after taking part in an ABR publishing masterclass.

“What began as an ABR masterclass at Monash University has bloomed into perhaps the most enriching partnership yet in my artistic and intellectual life – and now this extraordinary accolade,” said Anders.

“Poetry has been at the heart of my involvement with the magazine: as a reviewer; as a creative contributor; and, most recently, as assistant poetry editor. In each of these capacities, I have witnessed and benefited from ABR’s invaluable ongoing commitment to poetry in Australia.

“As the new Rising Star, I consider it my mandate to deepen that commitment, and I am so excited and honoured to get to work. In a precarious cultural landscape, ABR offers a beacon, as it has for generations. That it has not only survived the pandemic but grown stronger is a testament to its resilience and importance. I could not have wished for a better platform for doing what I love.”

The Rising Stars program is intended to advance the careers of younger writers whose early contributions to ABR have impressed readers and editors alike.

“I really can’t think of another young contributor who has made such a distinctive contribution during his first ten months with the magazine – as a poet, a reviewer, and now as co-commissioner of ABR’s poetry,” said Peter Rose, Editor of ABR.

“It’s a tremendous vindication of what we set out to achieve in the Monash publishing masterclasses – and a happy extension of our partnership with Monash University.”

Anders holds an MFA from the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program, where he received the Delbanco Prize for poetry. His first full-length collection, Aril Wire, was released in 2018 by Five Islands Press.