David Prater: Biography and works

My name is David Prater. O hai and welcome to my biography.

David Prater is an Australian-born writer and editor currently living in Stockholm, Sweden. This page outlines his life and work.

David was born in 1972 in Dubbo, Australia. His childhood was spent in a number of country towns in New South Wales. He completed high school in Wollongong before moving to Sydney to attend university. The rest, as they say, is a mystery.

One thing we do know for sure. Over the past two decades, David’s poetry has been published in a range of Australian and international journals and anthologies. In addition his prose and reviews have appeared in numerous outlets.

David Prater
A photograph of David Prater sitting on the top of a mountain near the Hyang Il-am temple outside Yeosu, Republic of Korea, in 2009, during his second Asialink residency.

We also know that David holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Sydney (1993), an MA (English) from the University of Melbourne (2004) and a PhD from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne (2010).

His MA thesis, a novella, concerned the invention of marzipan. His PhD thesis, an exegesis coupled with an artefact, is an exploration of self-publishing in Australian poetry.

In 2000 he self-published his first book of poems, The Happy Farang, dealing with the adventures of a tourist in Thailand and Laos. A second, Abendland, about a traveller in the USA and Europe, was self-published in 2006. Vagabond Press published a third, Morgenland, in 2007.

David’s debut poetry collection We Will Disappear was published by Soi3 (Papertiger Media) in August 2007, and was launched at the Melbourne Writers Festival and the Queensland Poetry Festival in that year. His second full-length collection Leaves of Glass, was published by Puncher and Wattmann in 2013.

In 2004 David received a New Work grant from the Australia Council for the Arts which allowed him to complete the manuscript for We Will Disappear.

In 2005 he undertook a four-month Asialink residency at Sogang University, Seoul, where he wrote a series of fictions about ‘imaginary cities’ in PC bangs (internet gaming rooms) and the poems that would eventually be published as Morgenland.

In 2007 he received a New Work grant from Arts Victoria, which enabled him to write the poems collected in Leaves of Glass.

In 2009 he returned to Seoul for a second Asialink residency, hosted by the Korea Language Translation Institute.

David’s poetry has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Bulgarian, Macedonian and Swedish and has appeared in several haiku anthologies. His work has been been profiled in the Japanese literature magazine Shueisha.

David has been invited to perform at numerous Australian writers’ festivals including the National Young Writers Festival (2000, 2002, 2007), the Next Wave Festival (1994, 1998, 2002), the Emerging Writers Festival (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), the Melbourne Writers Festival (2004, 2007), the Overload Poetry Festival (2003, 2004), the Queensland Poetry Festival (2007) and the St Kilda Writers Festival (2005, 2006).

He has also performed his work in London, New York City, Sofia (Bulgaria), Ten’ri (Japan), Seoul (ROK), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Utrecht (the Netherlands), Montreal (Canada), Stockholm (Sweden) and Struga (Macedonia).

David’s poem ‘In a Dim Sea Nation’ was included in Best Australian Poetry 2003 (UQP). In 2011, his poem ‘Cute’ was selected in Best Australian Poems 2011 (Black Inc.), and five poems were anthologised in Thirty Australian Poets (UQP, 2011).

Between 2001 and 2012, David was Managing Editor of Cordite Poetry Review, an Internet poetry journal funded by the Australia Council for the Arts. He produced 30 full issues of the magazine, plus 10 mini-issues, with a focus on innovative new works by a diverse range of emerging and established Australian poets.

David has gained extensive experience as a creative writing tutor at the tertiary level, having taught in the Department of English at the University of Melbourne between 2003 and 2004; as a guest lecturer at Sogang University (Seoul) in 2005; and in 2007 as a workshop convener, tutor and lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology.

Since 2001 David has maintained a series of creative websites at various addresses, the contents of which have now been amalgamated on this site. This site contains over 1,200 posts, including more than 400 poems, over 100 prose pieces, records from his two residencies in Seoul, details of his publications as well as news, photos and other ephemera.

In addition to his experience as a creative writer, David has over a decade of experience as an editor and has been employed in a variety of educational, policy and research settings.

David has also worked in various capacities as a copywriter, milk boy, storeman, kitchen hand, dishwasher, electoral roll review officer, bar person and interviewer.