‘My Tongue is My Own’: On Gwen Harwood and her Poetry

I’m halfway through Anne-Marie Priest’s excellent biography of the Australian poet Gwen Harwood, My Tongue is My Own and it has already had the desired effect; making me pull a copy of Harwood’s Selected Poems off my bookshelf to have beside me as I read it.

Of course I started re-reading some old favourites and also looked through some of the other Harwood books there as well. I’ve always enjoyed Harwood’s writing and wrote my minor thesis for an M.A. at Monash University on aspects of her work calling it, Light from a Single Source. I’ve written about her poetry at length, read the poems again and again over the years, and taught Harwood in Literature classes whenever I could.

So, I have several editions of her work gathered over the years, which I was reminded of today. It was good to look through them again and I’ll post some images of those editions soon. Meanwhile, Priest’s work is highly recommended as a long overdue life of this important Australian poet.

If you’re keen to look at Harwood’s poetry yourself a number of editions are still in print. The Selected Poems from Penguin Books or The Best 100 Poems from BlackInc are both good places to start, and available from Readings as is Anne-Marie Priest’s new biography.


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