Catherine Cole

Catherine Cole is a fiction and non-fiction writer and an academic in Literary Studies and Creative Writing.

Her most recent publication is Seabirds Crying in the Harbour Darka collection of short stories published in
October 2017 by University of Western Australia Publishing.


Catherine’s other fictional works include the crime novels Skin Deep (Duffy and Snellgrove, 2002) and Dry Dock (HarperCollins, 1999 and Duffy and Snellgrove, 2002) and a fictional memoir about the French in colonial Hanoi, Vietnam, The Grave at Thu Le (Picador, 2006). She has also published short stories and poetry.

Her non-fiction includes the memoir, The Poet Who Forgot (UWA Publishing, 2008), a reflection on her youthful friendship with the Australian poet, AD Hope. She has also written about crime fiction and its popularity in her monograph, Private Dicks and Feisty Chicks: An Interrogation of Crime Fiction (Curtin University Press, 1996) and edited the anthologies, Fashion in Fiction: Clothing in Text, Film and Television (Bloomsbury, 2009) and The Perfume River: Writing from Vietnam (UWA Publishing, 2010).


Catherine’s academic career includes teaching at University of New South Wales, The University of Technology, Sydney, RMIT University, Melbourne, and University of Wollongong, where she is currently Professor of Creative Writing, formerly Deputy Dean of Creative Arts.

Her Doctoral and Masters students have included award winning and emerging writers including the novelists Anna Funder, Charlotte Wood, Ashley Hay, Pam Newton, poet and memoirist, Adam Aitken and the filmmaker, Kylie Boltin.

Catherine is a former member of the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) evaluation committee in Humanities and the Creative Arts. She has provided expert advice to a range of universities on their research and creative practice activities.

She is a regular book reviewer, participant in Australian and international writers’ festivals and a judge of major national book awards. Catherine has also worked in the fields of human rights, equity and diversity and industrial relations.

Praise for Seabirds Crying in the Harbour Dark 


“… a short-story collection of great substance and style…. Catherine Cole’s writing is beautiful, full of intelligence and grace, and always suggestively understated.” Kerryn Goldsworthy, The Canberra Times

“Writer Catherine Cole uses her full powers of observation to craft these realistic, honest narrative nuggets of humanity.


It’s often the case that a collection of short stories will feature a number of tales that hit the mark, but also ones that miss it by a mile. Catherine Cole’s collection Seabirds Crying in the Harbour Dark is very much lacking the ‘miss’, with each tale so expertly crafted that the author’s talent for observing the subtle nuances of human life is almost intimidating.” Jen Bowden, Scoop

Connect with Catherine: