Guide to the Papers of Michael Sharkey [MSS 043]

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Manuscript Name Papers of Michael Sharkey
Manuscript Number MSS 043
Last Updated October 2021
Extent 4 boxes + 1 folio
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Literary papers, including drafts of poetry and interviews, correspondence, and other papers.

Collection Subject Type


Scope and Content

A collection of literary papers of Michael Sharkey, created between 1975 and 1988. The collection mostly consists of Sharkey’s correspondence, including with publishers. The collection also includes drafts and a transcript of Sharkey’s interview with Shelton Lea, published in Southerly in 1989.

Date Range of Content

1974 - 1988

Biographical Note

Wikipedia article:

Michael Sharkey is an Australian poet, writer and editor. He received his BA from the University of Sydney (1972) and a PhD on Lord Byron from the University of Auckland (1976), before going on to lecture in literature at a range of universities, including Sydney University (1972 - 1973) and Bond University (1989-1990). Most recently, he was Associate Professor at the University of New England from 1992-2010.

He has written prolifically, with over 700 publications to his name, including Woodcuts (1978), Alive in Difficult Times (1991), The Sweeping Plain (2007). He has contributed to the Australian Dictionary of Biography and written essays published in a wide range of academic and other publications.

In 1979, he established the Fat Possum Press in Armidale with Winifred Belmont in order to publish the work of writers in New England and other rural areas. He edited Kangaroo, the literary supplement to the New England student magazine Neucleus, 1979-1982. Sharkey has also been the editor for Ulitarra (1996-2000) and Australian Poetry Journal (2014-2016).

Sharkey has received a number of awards for poetry, including being joint winner of the Overland Competition in 1986 for ‘The Bullocky to His Creator’ and joint winner of the Grace Leven Poetry Prize in 2012 for Another Fine Morning in Paradise.

Author record, Michael Sharkey, AustLit (, St Lucia: The University of Queensland, 2002-. [Retrieved from 16/01/2019].


Administrative Information

Access and Copying Conditions

Access: Open Access

This collection contains a variety of copyright material. Copyright is held by the creator of each item. Specific conditions for this collection are listed below. If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only, and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright. Refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy. 

Copying: No copying is approved. 

Preferred Citation

Papers of Michael Sharkey, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, MSS 43, Box [Number], Folder [Number]. 


The collection was acquired from Michael Sharkey in five consignments.


Subject Keywords


Australian poetry, poets, Australian poets, 20th century poetry, Australian essayists, essayists, Australian academics, academics, biographers

Personal Names

Michael Sharkey 1946-

Michael Francis Sharkey

AD Malley


Poet, writer, academic, essayist, biographer


Container List

Box 1

Folder 1
Notes from Michael Sharkey accompanying correspondence
Robert D. Hume : ‘The Development of English Drama, 17th Century

Folder 2
Bibliography 2 - ‘On Writing’.

Folder 3
Miscellaneous papers.

Folder 4
Correspondence from Ian Hartley

Folder 5
Correspondence: 1974 - 1976

Folder 6
Correspondence: 1977

Folder 7
Correspondence: 1978

Folder 8 
Correspondence: 1979


Box 2

Folder 9
Correspondence: 1980

Folder 10
Correspondence: 1981

Folder 11
Correspondence: 1981

Folder 12
Correspondence: 1982

Folder 13
Correspondence: 1982

Folder 14
Correspondence: 1983

Folder 15
Correspondence: 1983

Folder 16
Correspondence: 1983


Box 3

Folder 17
Correspondence: 1983

Folder 18
Correspondence: 1984

Folder 19
Correspondence: 1984

Folder 20
Correspondence: 1984

Folder 21
Correspondence: 1985

Folder 22
Correspondence: 1985

Folder 23
Correspondence: 1985

Folder 24
Correspondence: 1985


Box 4

Folder 25
Anything Goes – poetry

Folder 26
Shelton Lea – interview with Michael Sharkey

Correspondence – responses to proposals to publish:

  • 1 page, typed letter, Stephen Murray-Smith (Overland) to Michael Sharkey 22 June 1988
  • 1 page, typed letter Elizabeth Webb, Editor of Southerly to Michael Sharkey 18 Nov 1988

Literary draft:

  • Interview transcript, handwritten, first draft, 77 pp.
  • Interview ‘Typescript 1’ by Michael Sharkey, typed, 30 pp., 8 July 1988)
  • Interview ‘Typescript (1) ‘with Shelton Lea’s emendations’
  • Interview ‘Typescript 1 ‘with ‘Eric Beach’s Annotations’

(Published: Michael Sharkey (1989) ‘An interview with Shelton Lea’ in Southerly, vol. 49, no. 4, Dec 1989: 560-580)



Folio 1
Copies of Kangaroo, 1979 - 1985