Denim on post damI’ve always been involved with words and writing in one way or another. I have spent much time and energy teaching creative writing and all kinds of English literature at university, with a special interest in medieval literature. I loved it, but now I’ve moved on to focus on what I had always wanted to do — writing.

My poems and short stories have been published in the usual places, and I have a book of poetry, i painted unafraid, published by Wakefield Press and Adelaide’s wonderful Friendly Street Poets after the manuscript won the Friendly Street Poets Single Poet competition. A short play, ‘Artemisia’, about the remarkable Artemisia Gentileschi, has been performed at Adelaide Fringe, and at the Sydney and Melbourne Short+Sweet Festival.

My novel The Anchoress won the Varuna LitLink NSW Byron Bay Unpublished Manuscript Award in 2010 and is published by Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, Australia; Faber, UK; it will be released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, USA, and Gallimard /Denoel in France on May 12, 2015.

My PhD thesis is a study of the story of St Margaret of Antioch, patron saint of childbirth, who was swallowed by a dragon and burst out its back, proclaiming herself a hero. It has been published as Three Methods for Reading the Thirteenth-Century Seinte Marherete, by Mellen Press; it’s academic writing, about female virginity and agency, and is actually more interesting than the title might suggest!

I live in the country outside Canberra. A lovely man, two dogs, two alpacas, four chooks and a host of birdlife keep me company.


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