Meet Mago Contributor, Susan Hawthorne

susan-hawthorneSusan Hawthorne is the author of fourteen books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Her poetry collection Cow (2011) was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize in the 2012 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and was also a finalist in the 2012 Publishing Triangle Awards for the Audre Lorde Lesbian Poetry Prize in the US. Earth’s Breath (2009) was shortlisted for the 2010 Judith Wright Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in annual Best Australian Poems anthologies, been broadcast on National Radio, and been published in print and digital literary magazines in USA, Canada, India, Macau, Algeria, Germany, UK and Australia. In 2013 she was Literature Resident at the BR Whiting Studio in Rome where she wrote her most recent collection of poetry, Lupa and Lamb (2014) which focuses on the prehistory of the Mediterranean and ancient Rome. Her other collections of poetry include Valence: Considering War through Theory and Poetry (2011), Unsettling the Land (with Suzanne Bellamy, 2008), The Butterfly Effect (2005), and Bird and Other Writing on Epilepsy (1999).

Her fiction includes a novel, The Falling Woman (1992), a verse novel Limen (2013) and she is currently working on a novel, Dark Matters which she hopes will be finished by 2017.

She is Adjunct Professor in Writing at James Cook University, Director of Spinifex Press, and plays a leading role in independent publishing and eBook publishing. http//

She first began researching the ancient world in 1976. She enrolled to write a PhD on belief structures in the ancient world in 1979, but due to the institution’s incapacity to understand her project and active resistance to it, she left the university and instead wrote a novel, The Falling Woman (1992, reprinted 2004). She eventually completed a PhD in 2002, which forms the basis of her book Wild Politics: Feminism, globalisation and bio/diversity (2002, and published in India). Among her other non-fiction are The Spinifex Quiz Book (1993; translated into German and Spanish) and Bibliodiversity: A Manifesto for Independent Publishing (2004; translated into Arabic, French and Spanish, and to be published in German in 2017).

She has also (co-)edited ten anthologies of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, including September 11, 2001: Feminist Perspectives (2002, with Bronwyn Winter), CyberFeminism (1999, with Renate Klein), several books on animals, and several lesbian anthologies. For more information go to the Spinifex Press website.

After studying Ancient Greek for some years and receiving an MA (Prelim), in recent years she has studied Sanskrit and Latin. In 2009, she spent four months living in Chennai on an Asialink Residency and the result was her collection Cow.

During 2016 she has participated in writing a poem a day, including several new sequences on rewriting mythology, among then a twenty-poem sequence on the Muses

She is a publisher at Spinifex Press which she co-founded with Renate Klein 25 years ago. In 2015, she received the George Robertson Award for her Services to the Publishing Industry.


Read her published posts from the recent:

(Poem) Lost texts: Linear A by Susan Hawthorne

(Solstice poem) manitari

(Poem) many breasted

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