Escaping the Hollywood bodyguards to explore the rose gardens of France’s Hôtel du Cap (where flowers for the breakfast tables are grown in blocks of colour); being surrounded by tanks and guns in rainy 1990s Northern Ireland, and eating a ten course dinner – at midnight – in a 15th century Venetian palazzo (after the world premiere of Cate Blanchett’s movie Elizabeth) are among the highlights of Roberta Lowing’s 22 years as the film and video reviewer for John Fairfax’s The Sun-Herald newspaper.
Roberta covered the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals for ten years, interviewing directors and actors and writing travel stories. In the late 1990s, she produced and directed 80 episodes of the environmental show Green Seen, which she co-founded, for the community television station Channel 31. For the past four years, she has run the PoetryUnLimitedPress (PULP) Readings in Glebe, Sydney, whose Guest Poets have included Judith Beveridge, Les Murray and Dorothy Porter.
Roberta recently completed her Master of Letters at the University of Sydney; she co-founded the University’s Writers Society and co-edited the first of its annual Phoenix Journals. Roberta’s poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Meanjin, Blue Dog and Overland; she also edited PULP’s Ilumina Journal, a collection of essays and poems from emerging and established poets. In 2006, Fairfax Books published a collection of her reviews from The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age.
Roberta travelled to Morocco and Sicily to research her first novel, Notorious, and, for her second, recently visited Antarctica.
Notorious is published in Australia by Allen & Unwin. Her first collection of poetry, Ruin, – a sequence about the Iraq War told through the eyes of four characters – is published by Interactive Press.