Billy Marshall Stoneking
Produced & published work
Writer - Sixteen Words for Water. Full-length stage play about the poet,
Stage Production details - Sixteen Words for Water:
Massachusetts (USA): The Miniature Theatre of Chester, Massachusetts.
July, 2000. Directed by Byam Stevens.
New York: Alleyway Theatre Company, Buffalo, NY. March-April, 2000.
Directed by Neal Radice.
Dublin Ireland. Celtic Mouse Theatre Company, Crypt Theatre Arts
Centre. March-April, 1999. Directed by James Watson.
New South Wales: Chalkdust Theatre Company, Q Theatre, Penrith,
NSW. October, 1996.
Victoria: Melbourne University student production. Guild Theatre,
University of Melbourne. November, 1994. Directed by Michael Cathcart.
Western Australia: Theatre West, in association with Black Swan
Theatre Company. July/August, 1994. Starring Arthur Dignam. Directed
by Leith Taylor.
New Zealand: The Fortune Theatre, Dunedin, South Island. September/
October, 1993. Directed by Campbell Thomas.
Tasmania: The Peacock Theatre, Salamanca Place, Hobart. March, 1992.
Starring Richard Davey. Directed by Robert Jarman.
British premiere: The Old Red Lion Theatre, Islington, London.
September, 1991. Starring Tom Georgeson. Directed by Madeleine Wynn.
Sixteen Words for Water (World premiere): Sydney Theatre Company,
The Wharf Theatre. August/September, 1991. Starring Simon Chilvers,
Rosemary Harris, and Miranda Otto. Directed by Rhys McConnochie.
Writer - Sixteen Words For Water (Radio adaptation). ABC Radio
National (FM), Starring Simon Chilvers, Pamela Rabe and Rachel
Szalay. Produced by Mike Ladd. Directed by Chris Williams.
Broadcast February, 1996.
Writer - Baby. A half-hour radio play. ABC Radio National [“The
Box Seat”]. Starring David Field and Rebecca Frith. Produced &
directed by Chris Williams. August, 1995.
Writer - Kate Cerebrano & Wendy Matthews Live at the Koko Club:
You’ve Always Got The Blues. - ABC-TV music special. Directed by
Lindsay Frazer. 1994.
Writer - The Dreaming Place. A play. Produced by Toe Truck
Theatre Company. Belvoir Street Theatre, September/October, 1993.
Author - Taking America Out Of The Boy. Best-selling autobiography.
Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1993.
Writer/Post-production director - Call It Poetry. A 50-minute
documentary about the making of the stage play, CALL IT POETRY/TONIGHT.
ABC-TV. July, 1993. Asian television: 1994.
Writer/performer - In Occupied Territory. A verse play. Produced by
REM Theatre Company at the Sydney Opera House, and at Bombala, NSW,
in association with the Bennelong Programme. Directed by Roger Rynd.
Writer/presenter - Lone Ant From A Broken Anthill. A 20-minute radio
documentary about the poet, Ezra Pound. ABC Radio National - “Fictions”.
Produced by Ron Blair. July, 1992. [Note: The full text of this program
was published as a feature article in the ABC’s Radio magazine, 24 Hours -
Co-producer/director/performer - Out Loud! Two nights of live readings
by Australia’s best performance poets. Recorded “live” at the NSW Writers’
Centre, and broadcast by ABC Radio National, March, 1992.
Author - Sixteen Words For Water. Playscript. Published by Harper/
Collins (Angus & Robertson), August, 1991.
Writer/presenter - The Power of the Song. A 20-minute radio programme
featuring poems from SINGING THE SNAKE. ABC Radio National, “Fictions”.
Produced by Ron Blair. August, 1991.
Co-writer/producer/director/performer - Call It Poetry/Tonight. An
experimental, verse play. Sydney Theatre Company, Studio Theatre,
Author - Singing The Snake : Poems from the Western Desert, 1979-1988.
Published by Angus & Robertson. March, 1990. 2nd edition issued May, 1990.
Writer - Fire in the Heart. Twelve, half-hour episodes of a fourteen-
part drama series. Singapore television in association with the National
Productivity Board. Produced by Nene Morgan. Aired October-December, 1990.
Director/performer - Off the Page / On the Stage. An evening of poetry,
jazz & comedy. Stables Theatre. December, 1989.
Author - Lasseter : In Quest of Gold. Up-dated, enlarged edition of
the 1985 best-selling hardback edition of Lasseter : The Making of
a Legend (Allen & Unwin). Published by Hodder & Stoughton. November,
Series Writer - Mission: Impossible. Paramount Television (USA).
Producer: Michael Fisher. 1988-89.
Writer/producer - Nosepeg’s Movie. A film biography of the Central
Australian Aboriginal elder, Tjungkarta “Nosepeg” Tjupurrula. Directed
by Lindsay Frazer. 50 mins. Premiere screening on ABC-TV, June, 1989.
Author - The Speed of Darkness. A novel. Published by Greenhouse
Press. May, 1989.
Writer - An American Jelly. A One-hour radio special, Radio Helicon.
ABC Radio National. Produced by Amanda Stewart in cooperation with
William Stoneking, 1988.
Major writer/contributor - Unsung Heroes and Heroines of Australia.
Edited by Suzy Baldwin. Published by Greenhouse Press in association
with the Australian Bicentennial Authority, Sydney. 1988.
Creator/co-writer - Stringer. Award-winning ABC-TV drama series.
Directed by Ken Cameron, Chris Thomson and Kathy Mueller. Produced
by John Edwards. 1988.
Author - Stringer. A novel. Published by ABC Books. 1988.
Writer - Pride & Prejudice. Documentary about Aboriginal culture
(tribal and urban). Episode 3 of “Images of Australia”. 50 mins.
Produced and Directed by Chris McCullough. ABC-TV. 1988.
Writer - The Power and the Glory : A history of gold mining. A film
documentary. Narrated by Bill Peach. 50 mins. Produced by Broadcom.
Writer - Project Earth. Educational film (docu-drama) about the
world of computers. Powerhouse Museum Theatrette. 10 mins. 1986.
Writer - No Is Okay. A docu-drama about sexual harassment in the
workplace. Produced by Film Australia for the Federal Attorney’s-
General Department, Canberra. 28 mins. 1986.
Writer - The Rite. A one-act play. Produced by the National Institute
of Dramatic Art as part of their “New Works - ‘85”. Directed by Stephanie
Rigold. November, 1985.
Author - Lasseter : The Making of a Legend. Non-fiction chronicle
of the 1930 Lasseter expedition. Published in hardback by George
Allen & Unwin, Sydney. 1985.
Writer - Looking for Lasseter. Radio doco/drama. Directed by Barry
Oakley for ABC Radio Helicon. 1985.
Writer - U.H.F. Television information film. Directed by Nick Frazer
for Special Broadcasting Service. 1985.
Writer - Fighting for a Century. Doco/drama about the history of
the New South Wales Fire Brigade. Directed by Tony Bowman. Produced by
DeMontigne Productions for the New South Wales Fire Brigade. 1984.
Writer/narrator - Desert Stories. A documentary about bi-lingualism
and Aboriginal storytelling. SBS-TV. 1984.
Writer - Nighthawks. Drama. 35mm 8mins. Directed by John Power.
Produced by the Australian Film & Television School. 1983.
Writer - Bunyip. (w/ Steve Wright) 8 mins. Produced by the Australian
Film and Television School. 1983.
Editor - The Stories of Obed Raggett. Stories by an Aboriginal elder.
Alternative Publishing Cooperative, Sydney, 1980.
Editor - Touch the Man (selected poems) by Ivan McConchie. Kembali
Books. First published in 1976. Re-printed in 1976.
Editor - Kembali anthologies: “Mantra”, “Songs of Maya”, “...inside the
moment”, “Threads of the Pattern”. (1974-1978)
Poems, stories, articles, criticism & other writing have appeared in
THE AGE, THE CANBERRA TIMES, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, THE WEEKEND
AUSTRALIAN, SYDNEY TELEGRAPH, THE MELBOURNE HERALD, ADELAIDE OBSERVER,
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN, DARWIN NEWS, CENTRALIAN ADVOCATE (Alice Springs),
KATHERINE COURIER (N.T., Australia), KINGSTON FREEMAN (NY, USA), LOS
ANGELES TIMES (Sunday edition), SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, SANTA CLARA
METRO (USA), SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL (USA), VIRGIN PRESS, MAGGIES FARM,
WASP, HONI SOIT.
ANCESTOR, ASH, ASPECT, AUSTRALIAN STYLE, AUSTRALIAN WAY, AUSTRALASIAN
BOOK REVIEW, AUSTRALASIAN SMALL PRESS REVIEW, BRAVE NEW WORD, BULLETIN,
BYSTANDER, CHOOK CHOOK, COMPASS, ELLIMATA, FALLEN ANGELS, FREMANTLE
ARTS REVIEW, ISLAND, KEMBALI, THE LAST POETS’ CHOICE, LINQ, LIVE POETS’
SOCIETY (LITMUS SUITE), LONG WATER (Vols. 1 & 2), LUNA, MAKAR, MATTOID,
MEANJIN, MEDIA INFORMATION AUSTRALIA, MERRI CREEK JOURNAL, NEW POETRY,
NORTHERN PERSPECTIVE, OFF THE PAGE (Vols. 1, 2, 3, & 4), THE OPEN DOOR,
OVERLAND, PHOENIX REVIEW, POEMS IN PUBLIC PLACES, POETRY AUSTRALIA,
POST-MODERN WRITING, RAPPORT, REAL POETRY, SCOPP, SEE PAGE 207,
THE SMALL TIMES, SOUTHERLY, SOUTHERN REVIEW, 24 HOURS, WESTERLY,
X-PRESS, YOUR FRIENDLY FASCIST.
ANTIGONISH REVIEW (Nova Scotia), ANTIPODES (USA), CAESURA (San Jose
Centre for Poetry & Literature, USA), CROSSCURRENTS (USA), FRESH! (USA),
MELANGE (USA), LA JORNADA (Mexico), LUCID MOON (USA), PRISM INTERNATIONAL
(University of British Columbia, Canada), SAN MIGUEL READER (Mexico),
SNOW APPLE (USA), STAND (U.K.), TULE REVIEW (USA).
A FIELD GUIDE TO ULURU/KATA TJURTA (Australian National Parks Service);
A TIME TO CHOOSE; ABOUT LITERATURE (Macmillan textbook), BORDER TERRITORY
(Unorthodox Australian Writing), THE EARTH AND THE BODY (Random House,
USA); INSTRUCTIONS FOR HONEY ANTS (1983 Mattara Prize anthology), MEDUNG
JACK KUNTIKUNTI (Bi-lingual anthology of Australian verse - English/Bahasa
Indonesian); MYTHSCAPES; NORTH OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS; OFF THE RECORD
(Penguin anthology), OXFORD BOOK OF MODERN AUSTRALIAN VERSE (ed. by Les
Murray); OXFORD COMPANION AUSTRALIAN LITERATURE; PAPUNYA/TULA PAINTINGS;
THE PENGUIN BOOK OF CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN POETRY (ed. By John Tranter);
RATTLING IN THE WIND; A READER’S GUIDE TO AUSTRALIAN POETRY (ed. by Geoff
Page), REVISIONS (Longman Cheshire); THE TEMPERAMENT OF GENERATIONS
(Fifty years of Writing in Meanjin); TOP LINES (From Australian
Contemporary Poets), ANTHOLOGY OF WORLD LITERATURE (Viking Press).
Others (including ezines):
ALLENDE (Mexican e-zine), ALICUBI JOURNAL (NYC ezine), THE ALSOP REVIEW
(USA ezine), BARBARIAN POETS REVIEW, BLACK ORCHID (USA), CALL IT POETRY
(50-minute television documentary); CHOICES – the 1999 PoetFest Anthology
(USA), DeHAVILLAND’s POETRY PAGE (Australia); EMPYRIOS.ORG (USA): THE
FAE WHIRL (Netherlands); GANGWAY #13 (Austrian ezine), KOOKAMONGA SQUARE
(USA ezine), MINDFIRE (USA); OZ MUSE (Poets’ Union newsletter);
POETRYMAGAZINE.COM (NY), SHELTON LEA’S RADICAL POETS (45-minute video);
NIGHTCLUB POETRY MAG PAD (Spoleto Fringe publication); SINGING THE SNAKE
(Audio tape, “Off The Page Poets”, No. 1); THREE CANDLES (USA); STREET
POETRY (Melbourne, Australia); A WRITER’S CHOICE LITERARY JOURNAL.
My work has been broadcast and/or discussed on radio, including the
BBC’s World Service; ABC Radio National (“Fictions”, “The Listening
Room”, “Radio Helicon”, “Live Wire”, “Late Night Live” with Phillip
Adams, “The Ramona Kovel Show”, “The Box Seat - Biography”); ABC
Regionals (Queensland); 2BL (Sydney); 2JJJ (Sydney); Radio Skidrow
(Sydney); 2RRR (Sydney); 2UE (Sydney); 2GB (Sydney); 2SER-FM (Sydney);
3LO (Melbourne); 3CR (Melbourne); 5AN (Adelaide); 5UE (Adelaide); 7NT
(Launceston); 4QR (Brisbane); 2CN (Canberra); 8AL (Alice Springs);
8CCC (Alice Springs); 8DDD (Darwin); West Coast Weekend (KQED,
San Francisco); and The Poets’ Hour (KUSP (Santa Cruz, California),
Sunday Roundtable (WDST, Woodstock, NY).
Television broadcasts include:
Sunday Afternoon Arts (ABC-TV with Peter Ross); Review (ABC-TV with
Mark McLeod); The Midday Show (Channel Nine, with Ray Martin);
Imagine (SBS-TV, with Paul McGillick); Talking Heads (SBS-TV),
with Helen Vastakopolis); The Book Show (SBS-TV, with Denny
Ahern); and Tasmania Today.
My documentaries and television scripts have been broadcast in the
United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Spain, Germany,
the Netherlands, and throughout Southeast Asia.
I have read and performed my poetry/writing (and the poetry/writing
of others) at a variety of venues/festivals/etc around Australia,
including The Melbourne Festival (1987, 89); The Adelaide Arts
Festival (1978, 1990); The Sydney Festival (1979, 80, 81, 83);
Carnivale (1991); Montsalvat Poetry Festival (1994); Hawthorn Town Hall
readings (1994); Melbourne Writers’ Fair (1994); The Country Writers’
Festival, Shepparton, Victoria (1994); Australian National Word Fest,
Canberra (1993); Darwin Poetry Festival (1991); Launceston Poetry
Festival (1988). Other Australian venues include the Lower Melbourne
Town Hall; Outpost Inn (Melbourne); Little Reata’s (Melbourne);
University of Melbourne; Melbourne Teachers’ College; Latrobe
University (Melbourne); Provincial Hotel (Melbourne); Punters Hotel
(Melbourne); Crosscurrents (Ballarat, Victoria); Warrnambool Institute
of Advanced Education; Warrnambool City Art Gallery (Victoria);
University of New South Wales; National Institute of Dramatic Art
(NIDA); Macquarie University (Sydney); Charles Sturt University
(Bathurst and Wagga Wagga campuses); Wagga Wagga Writers Writers;
The Australian Film, Television and Radio School (Sydney); The Shore
School (Sydney); MacDonald College (Sydney); NSW Writers’ Centre
(Sydney); National Gallery of NSW; State Library of NSW; The Wharf
Theatre (Sydney); Studio Theatre, The Wharf (Sydney); The Sydney
Opera House; Stables Theatre (Sydney); Belvoir Street Theatre (Sydney);
Performance Space (Sydney); The Resistance Centre (Sydney); Harold
Park Hotel (Sydney); Evening Star Hotel (Sydney); Avalon café
(Katoomba, NSW); Poets in the Pub, Grand Hotel (Newcastle, NSW);
Astor Hotel (Newcastle, NSW); University of Wollongong; Brisbane
Arts’ Centre; Burgmann College (Canberra); Australian Defence Force
Academy (Canberra); Popeye (Adelaide); Mississippi Queen (Darwin);
Araluen Arts’ Centre (Alice Springs); Northern Territory University
(Darwin); Hotel (Hobart) , and other venues too numerous to mention.
Overseas venues include:
Shakespeare & Co. (Paris), The Poetry Centre (London), Torriano
Community Center (Kentish Town, London), Literaturhaus (Salzburg,
Austria), Kunstverien Alte Schemide (Vienna, Austria), Fallon House
Theatre (Columbia, California); Columbia College (Sonora, California);
San Jose Poetry Centre (California); Los Arboles School (San Jose);
DeAnza College (San Jose); University of California, Santa Cruz
(California); Cabrillo College (Santa Cruz, California); Fort Mason
Centre (San Francisco, California), Earth Space Theatre (San Francisco,
California); University of California at San Diego (California); Centre
for Contemporary Arts and Crafts (Santa Fe, New Mexico); College of
Santa Fe; Kleinert/James Arts Centre (Woodstock, NY); Stone Ridge
Healing Arts Center (Stone Ridge, NY); Alternative Bookshop (Kingston,
NY); Deep Listening Space (Kingston, NY); Anna Jarvis School (West
Virginia,USA); Bellas Artes (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico), University
of Sinaloa (Mazatlan, Culican, Los Mochis, Mexico), Centre del Arte
(San Luis Potosi, Mexico).
Bachelor of Arts (hons) California State University at Sacramento,
California. Major: English. Minors: philosophy & education. Conferred
Diploma of education (Secondary teaching certificate), California State
University at Sacramento, California. Conferred June, 1971
Certificate of screenwriting. Australian Film & Television School.
Conferred March, 1984.
I speak Pintupi/Luritja, an Aboriginal dialect of the Western Desert
group of languages. I am also conversational in Bahasa Indonesian.
1983 - present: Free-lance poet and playwright. Screenwriter;
producer/director; script editor; critic. Currently resident in
Woodstock, New York.
1979 - 1982: Literature production supervisor/teacher, Papunya Aboriginal
School, Papunya Settlement, N.T. Responsibilities included collection of
stories, histories, poems, etc. in the local dialect (Pintupi/Luritja)
for publication and use in outstations’ bi-lingual programme. Teaching
post-primary boys’ class.
1978: Free-lance writer, Sydney.
1977: Workshop manager, Yalundah Day Training Centre. Working with group
of intellectually-handicapped adults.
1975: Two months as exchange teacher, teaching English (second language)
at Sekolah Economik, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Organised by the Australian
Teachers’ Federation, Canberra.
1972 - 1976 (inclusive): High school teacher in Victoria and the Northern
Territory. Teaching English, literature, drama, filmmaking and cultural
Residencies, Fellowships, Grants
1995: Writing attachment. National Playwrights’ Centre, Sydney
1994: Literature Board grant. Australia Council. Category “A”
Fellowship. Writing for performance.
1993: Literature Board grant. Australia Council. Category “B”
Fellowship. Auto-biographical writing / Writing for
1992: Writer-in-residence. Zootango Theatre Company and the
Tasmanian Writers Union. Hobart, Tasmania. February-
1991: Writer-in-residence. Charles Sturt University.
Departments of English & Performing Arts. Wagga
Wagga/Bathurst, NSW. October-November, 1991.
Poet-in-residence. Darwin Poetry Festival. April, 1991.
1990: Writer-in-residence. University of New South Wales.
Department of English. August-October, 1990.
1985: Writer-in-residence. Fort Street High School, Sydney.
NOTE: Between 1982 and 1990, I received several grants from the Australian
Film Commission to develop story-lines/treatments and scripts for various
film and television projects. (See “produced work” and “work-in-progress”)
Related Miscellaneous Activities
1999-present – Contributing editor, Suite101.com (Performance poetry)
January – November 1998 – Writing in Mexico, giving workshops, readings, etc.
September – December, 1997 – Research, writing and public readings in Santa
September 1997 – Readings at Shakespeare & Co. (Paris)
May-September 1997 – Research and writing in Tuscany, Italy, re: The Sacred
Runner. Readings in Salzburg, Vienna, and London.
June-July, 1996 - script editor - A Modern Crucifixion. A full-length play by
February-March, 1996 - script editor - Chopper (feature film)
August-September 1995 - Writers’ Forum… Seminar and discussions with
screenwriter, Jean-Claude Carriere, and several Aboriginal writers, as part
of a tour of French playwrights to Australia, sponsored by the Sydney
June, 1994 - Exhibition of original paintings at the Barry Stern Gallery,
August-October, 1993 - Resided in San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico, where
I was engaged in researching and writing a play about the Soviet filmmaker,
Sergei Eisenstein. Invited to read my poetry at the Belles Artes with Octavio
February, 1993 - Co-founder (w/ Paul Thompson): The Writers’ Forum, Sydney
Theatre Company, a formal discussion group open to a limited number of
practising writers (by invitation only) for the purpose of providing a useful
and stimulating context within which writers can come together to discuss ideas
and issues relevant to their work. As of August, 1996, the forum was still in
January - May, 1991 - Initiated, organised and participated in “The American
Walkabout Tour” which featured a cross-section of Aboriginal and non-
Aboriginal artists and their work. Tour participants included two Walpiri
songmen/painters (Dinny Nolan Tjampitjinpa and Paddy Carroll Tjugurrayi), and
three, Australian performance poets. The actual tour lasted seven weeks with
performances in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Two of my films - Desert
Stories and Nosepeg’s Movie - were featured at the Pacific Rim Film Festival,
Santa Cruz, California, during the tour.
I have also organised several major exhibitions/workshops of Papunya/Tula
painting (Aboriginal dot painting). Venues include Wagga City Art Gallery;
Alexander Mackie College; Australian Film, Television and Radio School; Sydney
City College; Syd’s Gallery (Sydney); and Santa Fe’s Centre for Contemporary
Arts and Crafts. I have also organised major performances of Aboriginal song
cycles (Tingarri) at The Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre (Sydney); and
the Araluen Arts Centre (Alice Springs).
In 1989, I organised and coordinated the launching of a major cultural exchange
programme between the West Coast of the United States and Australia. This
programme was funded, in part, by Cabrillo College (Santa Cruz, California)
and by the Literature Board of the Australia Council. In March, 1989, three
American poets - Morton Marcus, Anita Wilkins, and Joe Stroud - travelled to
Australia as part of this exchange and took part in a number of poetry
workshops and public readings. The “Walkabout Tour” of 1991 was a continuation
of this programme.
In 1988 (with assistance from the Literature Board), I organised and
convened “Off The Page” - the first, Australian Poetry-in-Performance
workshops (with Stephanie Rigold) for a selected group of writers. “Off The
Page 2” was convened in August, 1989, as part of REWORDING ’89 at Macquarie
University; and “Off The Page 3” during my tenure as writer-in-residence at
the University of NSW, 1990.
Between 1987 and 1992, I guest lectured in the Writing Department of the
Australian, Film, Television and Radio School. I was also employed by the
AFTRS - on a casual basis - as a script assessor, assessing scripts and
applications from prospective students seeking admission to the school.
Voice-over work on several documentaries, including Circuses of the World
(SBS-TV, 1996); Hitler’s Secret War (SBS-TV, 1995) and Desert Stories
Awards and Prizes
1990: Highly commended. Jesse Litchfield Prize. Northern
1988: Winner. Bill Harney Bicentennial Poetry Prize. Northern
Territory Literary Awards.
1983: Highly commended. Mattara Poetry Prize. University of
Founding member - Poets’ Union of Australia
Founding member - Playwrights’ Studio, NIDA (National Institute
of Dramatic Art)
Founding Member - Writers’ Forum, Sydney Theatre Company
Australian Writers’ Guild, Full member.
Billy Marshall Stoneking
Sixteen Words for Water – The Complete Script
Eisenstein in Mexico – The Complete Script
Singing the Snake – Selected Poems