19 November 2010

Earth's Breath

Susan Hawthorne. Earth's Breath, Spinifex Press, 2009.

Shortlisted for the 2010 Judith Wright Poetry Prize*.

Cyclonic storms inform the still eye of Earth's Breath. It's an eye that radiates out from the personal to the communal, tracking its subject matter through the lenses of history and myth. Susan Hawthorne's poetry shifts with seismic intensity, from tranquility to roar, bureaucratic inertia to survival, and the slow recovery from destruction to regeneration.

Susan Hawthorne is a poet, novelist, aerialist, political activist and publisher. Born in Wagga Wagga, she grew up in rural New South Wales. She has a BA (Hons) from La Trobe University in Philosophy, an MA (Prelim) in Ancient Greek language and a PhD in Political Science and Women’s Studies both from the University of Melbourne, and is currently back at La Trobe studying Sanskrit.

She is the author of five collections of poetry, a novel, political theory and a quiz book. Among them are Bird (1999), The Butterfly Effect (2005), Earth’s Breath (2009), The Falling Woman (1992), Wild Politics (2002) and The Spinifex Quiz Book (1993). Her work has been selected as best books of the year on several occasions. She co-edited September 11, 2001: Feminist Perspectives with Bronwyn Winter (2002) and CyberFeminism with Renate Klein (1999).

She is a Research Associate at Victoria University, Melbourne where she has supervised postgraduates writing MAs and PhDs in Creative Writing for more than a decade. She is also a publisher and Director of Spinifex Press and played a leading role among independent Australian publishers in innovative and eBook publishing.

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*Judith Wright Prize for a published collection by an Australian writer is awarded annually. It is one of five ACT Poetry Prizes. The ACT Government, through the ACT Arts Fund administered by artsACT, has offered ACT Poetry Prizes since 2003. The 2010 winner will be announced in November from the shortlist selected by a panel comprising comprising Ms Maureen Bettle, Mr John Jenkins, Ms Lesley Lebkowicz and Mr David Brooks.