This blog began with a six-month journey overseas, part holiday, mostly research and a blog seemed a good way to write and reflect. As happens with travel, grand plans are often shaken down to something more modest. The day-to-day business of negotiating language and new places took over and I didn’t post as often as I’d hoped, but now I’m home, I’ll keep on going. I’m a reader and a writer, so most things have a literary edge for me.
I’ve spent much time and energy teaching creative writing and all kinds of English literature at university, with a special interest in medieval literature, 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. 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 My novel The Anchoress won the Varuna LitLink NSW Byron Bay Unpublished Manuscript Award in 2010 and, in a slightly revised incarnation, will be published by Fourth Estate, Australia; Faber, UK; Farrer, Straus & Giroux, USA, and Gallimard /Denoel in France. But not until March 2015 … so I am learning patience. 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.
‘Write in pencil only’ because nothing is ever final or certain or right.