Paradise (Point of Transmission)

by Andrew Sutherland
Fremantle Press

This brilliant debut collection examines a ‘haunted’ Queer and HIV-positive identity. It follows an HIV diagnosis and a departure from Singapore as the poet moves from being secretive about his HIV status, towards living a more public life, in which living openly with HIV is characterised by the queer longing toward both resilience and transformation.

Judges' Report

Paradise (Point of Transmission) (Fremantle Press) is beautifully layered collection of poems that explores the realities of a HIV diagnosis on home, community and freedom. It complex but inviting, an act of generosity and transformation. In his first poetry collection Andrew Sutherland simultaneously captures the stigma of a HIV-positive identity and the deep love of Queer community. This collection is thoughtfully constructed on the page, divided into three sections – narrative, metaphor and paradise, dipping easily between poetics and the domestic. It is a collection that speaks to the poetics of people and life, drawing on theory easily but not arrogantly, and inviting engagement without prior knowledge, but holding deep space for shared experience.

About the author

Andrew Sutherland (he/they) is a Queer poz (PLHIV) writer and performance-maker creating work between Boorloo, Western Australia and Singapore. His work draws upon intercultural and Queer critical theories, and the viral instabilities of identity, pop culture and the autobiographical self. As a performance-maker, he has twice been awarded WA’s Blaz Award for New Writing and makes up one half of independent theatre outfit Squid Vicious (@squidvicioustheatre). His recent performance works include 30 Day Free TrialPoorly Drawn SharkJiangshiUnveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes and a line could be crossed and you would slowly cease to be, which was commissioned by Singapore’s Intercultural Theatre Institute in 2019.  As a poet, he was awarded Overland’s Fair Australia Poetry Prize 2017 and placed third in FAWWA’s Tom Collins Prize 2021. His poetry, fiction and non-fiction can be found in a raft of national and international literary journals and anthologies, including CorditeWesterlyPortside Review, 聲韻詩刊 Voice & VerseEXHALE: an anthology of Queer voices from Singapore, and Margaret River Press’ We’ll Stand in That Place, having been shortlisted for their 2019 Short Story Prize. He is grateful to reside on Whadjuk Noongar boodja.

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