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More than ever before writers open up about the lived experience of mental health in their creative work. This anthology explodes with optimism and pain encounters and descriptions of what is carried through life and writing.

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Voices within Mental Health
Editors: David Stavanger, Radhiah Chowdhury, Mohammad Awad






352 pages

About the Book:

We are full of worlds that can’t be contained by a pill.

ISBN: 9780645248098

This groundbreaking collection documents the state of mental health in Australia, foregrounding a wide range of voices with lived experience defining themselves beyond a diagnosis. Admissions showcases more than one hundred works: poems, essays, lyrics, fiction and illustrations from some of our leading writers, comedians and public figures, challenging prescribed notions of illness, recovery, treatment and trauma while reclaiming language as an act of mad pride.

Including work by: Sara M. Saleh | Grace Tame | Felicity Ward | Shastra Deo | Nat’s What I Reckon | Helena Fox | Krissy Kneen | Christine Anu | Elizabeth Tan | Justin Heazlewood | Kristen Dunphy | Jennifer Wong | Fiona Wright | Amani Haydar | Omar Sakr | Ellen van Neerven | Ali Cobby Eckermann | Anna Spargo-Ryan | Eunice Andrada | Steven Oliver | Sam Twyford-Moore | Heidi Everett | And many more…

About the Editors:

David Stavanger is a poet, cultural producer, editor and former psychologist living on unceded Dharawal land. His first full-length poetry collection The Special (UQP, 2014) was awarded the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and the Wesley Michel Wright Poetry Prize. David is the co-editor of SOLID AIR: Collected Australian & New Zealand Spoken Word (UQP, 2019) and his latest collection Case Notes (UWAP, 2020) won the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.

Radhiah Chowdhury is an author, audio producer and editor living on unceded Bidjigal Land in Sydney’s south-west. She is one of the co-founders of the Australian First Nations and People of Colour in Publishing Network, and was the 2019-2020 Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellow.’ As an editor, Radhiah has worked with Scholastic Australia, Giramondo, Allen & Unwin and Penguin Random House. Her most recent picture book, The Katha Chest (Allen & Unwin, 2021) is a 2022 CBCA Notable for Picture Book of the Year.

Mohammad Awad is a Queer/Arab/Muslim and Writer/Director/Poet/Playwright who spends most of his time as a spoken word artist, he also writes and directs short films and visual poems such as The Flower, The Messenger and Beauty Marks. He has featured in the Sydney Writers Festival, Sydney Mardi Gras, Sydney Living Museums – After Dark, Sydney Festival, Red Room Poetry, Giant Dwarf Theatre, and on ABC and SBS television, ABC Radio, SBS Radio, Eastside Radio, 2SER and FBI Radio.


“This cacophony of own voice narratives broadens the conversation around mental health in Australia.” – Maxine Beneba Clarke “Admissions moved me to tears. It is an anthology both connected and disconnected, an echo of the mental illness and recovery, the isolation and community experienced by the authors. With fearlessness, anger and gracious vulnerability, this collection bleeds and heals and bleeds again. Each piece is extremely special, and extremely important: a howl into the void, a loving ode to selves, and a bearing witness. We are lucky to have these writers, and these words.” – Laura Helen McPhee-Browne “Significant and compelling.” – Claudia Karvan