Catherine Cole was born in Sydney, Australia and lives in Australia and the UK and France. She is a fiction and non-fiction writer and an academic in Literary and Cultural Studies and Creative Writing.
Her fictional works include the crime novels Dry Dock and Skin Deep and the fictional memoir about the French in colonial Hanoi, Vietnam, The Grave at Thu Le. She has also published short stories and poetry.
Her non-fiction includes the memoir, The Poet Who Forgot, a reflection on her youthful friendship with the Australian poet, AD Hope.
Catherine's research includes studies on Vietnam before and after the French colonial period and the American/Vietnam war.
She has written on crime fiction and its popularity in her monograph, Private Dicks and Feisty Chicks: An Interrogation of Crime Fiction. She has edited the anthologies, Fashion in Fiction: Clothing in Text, Film and Television and The Perfume River: Writing from Vietnam.
Her current writing explores migration, home and refuge. The short story collection, Seabirds Crying in the Harbour Dark, examined these issues and stories from the collection are taught in schools and universities in the UK, USA, Australia and China. The collection was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards in 2018.
Catherine’s new novel, Sleep, explores the ways in which memory and trauma influence the way we see the world and what we need to do to make art of our lives.
Catherine is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, Merseyside, UK, where she coordinates the MA Writing and Research degrees in the discipline. She is also a research mentor and a board member of the LJMU English Research Institute.
Catherine's academic career also includes professorial appointments at RMIT University, Melbourne, and University of Wollongong, where she was Professor of Creative Writing, and formerly Deputy Dean of Creative Arts.
She has taught at University of New South Wales and The University of Technology, Sydney. 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. Her degrees include a Doctorate of Creative Arts, Master of Letters, Graduate Diploma of Adult Education, BA and Associate Diploma of Writing and Editing.
Catherine is involved in a range of academic and community projects in the UK and Australia. In Liverpool she coordinates Liverpool 2 Liverpool, an interdisciplinary research groups which aims to link all 19 Liverpools in the world through cross-disciplinary projects, commencing with Liverpool in Sydney, Australia.
She is a member of a number of university committees and also a member of the Liverpool City Council (UK) Cultural committee.
She 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.