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His non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love lifted the lid on familial, institutional and government homophobia in Australia, and was selected for the Brisbane Writer's Festival.
In a series of hard-hitting articles for Fairfax Media, Intermedia, United News & Media UK, Margo Kingston's NoFibs, Gay Star News and News Corporation, Michael's journalism has always covered issues of equality, LGBTIQA+ history, popular culture, politics and pathways for independent artists and writers.
After several careers that went off the rails more times than he cares to acknowledge, author Michael Burge took to journalism at the age of forty and has felt it necessary to look over his shoulder ever since!
Taking jobs that nobody else wanted because the pay was crap and the prospects zero, Michael found a lifeboat in an industry that was starting to sink faster than theTitanic.
Creating Waves is a collection of his hardest-hitting and most heartfelt articles, published in Australian and overseas news sites, including Fairfax Media, NoFibs and Gay Star News.
From the most opinionated of commentaries about politics in the final years of Australia’s marriage equality debate; to his insightful film, book and pop-culture reviews, Michael’s journalism is always deeply personal.
With a touch that is at times funny and outraged, he explores sense of place in a country determined to reject equality, and where journos are considered worse than scum.
Journalist and Amazon-bestselling Australian author Michael Burge spent six years writing full time before embarking on the publication of a range of books he wrote while developing a social media readership.
Write Regardless! is his no-nonsense guide to plotting, packaging and promoting an independent publication without getting ripped off along the way.
Tips include: setting up a social media platform, managing the publication process yourself, and Michael's popular article Writer, resuscitate your manuscript!
When a middle-aged boy player returns to London's Globe playhouse during a terrible revival of Romeo and Juliet, she sets off a chain of events as great as any of Shakespeare's entertainments, revealing a love story that lay hidden for decades, just beneath the lines of the script. Centuries later, an out-of-work Sydney actor connects the dots of this drama and is inspired to write a play, bringing him face to face with big life lessons in the art and politics of storytelling. The lives of these two unconventional players collide in a journey from Australia to England, from drama school to the professional stage, from male to female, from failure to success and back again, exploring the untold story of those who created the complete works of William Shakespeare.
Leaving a mark on history is usually the result of courage, but it always starts by simply making a stand.
Since 2009, Australian journalist Michael Burge has written about single-minded individuals who faced fear, grief and oppression, yet went through with defiant acts of social and cultural rebellion.
Many of them got a very bad name in the process, or had their motives shrouded in mystery.
Pluck is Michael’s re-examination of several divas, dilettantes, groundbreakers, chameleons, rebels and heroes faced with crossroads, comebacks and reinventions.
From international cultural figures such as Whitney Houston, Meryl Streep and Angela Lansbury, and writers E. M. Forster, Agatha Christie, William Shakespeare and Helene Hanff; to lesser-known artists such as Australia's unsung costume designer Orry-Kelly and England's wayward Brontë brother Branwell, Michael digs deep into extraordinary lives.
Along the way, he records encounters with people whose courage put them in the line of critical fire, through coming out, such as Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe; and through making a stand for the sake of their working style, like Australian actor Judy Davis.
This fascinating collection reveals new perspectives on fame but also sheds a timely light on lives which may never be acclaimed, yet went where angels fear to tread.
One random night in 2004, Michael Burge’s long-term partner, choreographer Jonathan Rosten, died suddenly while rehearsing a show. In the midst of the ensuing grief, Jono’s relatives started the secret and devastating process of disenfranchising Michael from his position as Jono’s next of kin.
With his name removed from Jono’s death certificate, Michael found himself unable to wrap-up his de-facto partner’s affairs; in a legal, ethical and financial ‘David and Goliath’ battle that was none of his making.
Exiled from his own life, facing grief, depression and suicidal thoughts, Michael eventually found the courage to fight back.
Along the way he came face-to-face with his own demons, and those of the generation that faced HIV/AIDS and the ensuing legislative no-man’s land which saw many de-facto couples disenfranchised by homophobic families.
Through asserting his right to grieve the loss of his partner, not only personally, but on a public and legislative level, Michael’s story offers a rarely heard, surprising and honest voice for all Australians dealing with loss.
Set against a country coming to terms with the human rights and responsibilities of same-sex equality, Questionable Deeds offers one man’s argument for marriage equality and why it’s a no-brainer for any 21st century nation.
A collection of ten stories, variations on a theme: hiding from the truth.
The matron who interprets her sexual desire as physical pain, obsessed with one of her nurses to the point of stalking.
The father who has liaisons with men at public toilets, and the kid who works out he knows the bloke.
The painter who is out but not too proud, not until she’s achieved something with her life, and the Auschwitz survivor she must care for in her day job.
The mother who tries to find ‘the right girl’ for her son, only to come face-to-face with his male partner.
The daughter who finds her gay uncle on Facebook and confronts her Christian father about his homophobia in one insightful email.
The teenager who realises at Bible camp that he’s as gay as one of the teachers, and the girl who unwittingly pursues him.
The artist who rents a room to his childhood friend, only to face the consequences of the secrets they tease out of one another.
The country woman who is not sure if what she sees from her back step is real or not, and the grandson who comes out to her in a postcard.
Captured at the crossroads of their lives, these people face choices between extraordinary heroism and cowardice.