Gwen Harwood

Gwen Harwood

About Gwen Harwood

Gwen Harwood (8 June 1920 – 5 December 1995) was an Australian poet and librettist. She grew up in Queensland and moved to Tasmania after marrying William Harwood. Harwood is considered one of Australia's finest poets; her works are regularly studied in schools and university seminars. She has won numerous awards and prizes for poetry, including one for a collection of her early letters entitled Blessed City.
Her first volume of poetry, Poems, was published in 1963, followed by the second volume, Poems Volume II, in 1968. Other works include The Lion's Bride (1981), Bone Scan (1988) and The Present Tense (1995). There are also several editions of Selected Poems, including one from Penguin 2001. Harwood wrote her early works under various pseudonyms, some of which have been uncovered through literary detective work. Recurring themes in Harwood's poetry are motherhood and the role of women, especially housewives. Music is another popular theme. Harwood was a trained pianist and organist herself. She also wrote series of poems with recurring characters; one of the most notorious was Professor Eisenbart.

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