Upcoming artist-in-residence: James Vicars

James Vicars portait
James Vicars

James Vicars is a writer based in Armidale NSW. His writing and photography has appeared in anthologies, and his short stories, essays and reviews have been published in magazines. In 1992 James co-founded and edited the literary magazine, ‘New England Review’. He has received fellowships from the NSW Ministry for the Arts and the Eleanor Dark Foundation, and holds degrees in English, communications and writing. James teaches part-time in universities and has been an Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of New England. 

Book cover, Beyond the Sky
James Vicars, 'Beyond the Sky', book covers

Over the past ten years James has been researching and writing a biographical work about the 'lost' life of Australia's first woman aviator, Millicent Bryant. This recently come to fruition with the publication of 'Beyond the Sky: the Passions of Millicent Bryant, aviator' by Melbourne books in November 2020. While this work is based on extensive research and historical sources, James has taken the less usual path of telling Millicent Bryant’s life in the form of a story so that readers could meet her more fully and 'hear' her voice as it comes through in her letters and other writings.

James Vicars about to take a research flight in a Tiger Moth 
while writing 'Beyond the Sky'.

During my residency at Gunyah, I'm planning to continue working on my creative memoir, provisionally entitled 'The Year of Writing Dangerously'. I began writing this in 2018 while living with my partner in her handmade house in the bush in northern NSW. Sadly, we lost the house in the Kangawalla bushfire of November 8, 2019, and our community was devastated. During my time at Gunyah I plan to further develop and edit this creative work and to find ways to incorporate my experience of this immense bush fire catastrophe, its wider impact, what can be learned from it, and what new beginnings might look like.

James Vicars, The last photo of our house before the bush fires, 2019

You can find out more about James' work on his website jamesvicars.com or Facebook page facebook.com/JamesVicarsAuthor