David Reiter was born of East European Jewish heritage. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree (Honors College) from the University of Oregon (1970), a Master of Arts degree in American Literature from the University of Alberta (1971) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Creative Writing at the University of Denver (1982). He has worked at the University of Canberra and Queensland University of Technology and for ten years as a publisher and publishing consultant. He has served on the Board of Senior Secondary School Studies in Queensland and on the Criminal Justice Commission.
Since 1994, Dr Reiter has received several grants for travel to North America and Europe from the Australia Council and Arts Queensland. In 1998, his fourth book, Hemingway in Spain and Selected Poems, was shortlisted for the 1998 John Bray Award (South Australia Literary Awards). His book of short stories, Triangles, was shortlisted for the 2000 Steele Rudd Award. In 1999 his play Paul and Vincent was broadcast on ABC Radio National. Many public readings of his work include the larger Queensland festivals, the American Association of Australian Literary Studies Conference at Arcata, California in 1996, the Millennium Conference at the University of Barcelona in 2000, Expo Langue in Paris and elsewhere in France, Spain, Canada and America.
Dr Reiter became the founding editor of Redoubt (University of Canberra) and in 1996 he founded IP ( Interactive Publications Pty Ltd), a publishing consultancy and a print and digital publisher (Brisbane). He has produced multimedia compositions also, completing The Gallery, an interactive poetic work in 2000 and a multimedia murder mystery, Sharpened Knife, in 2002. The web version of the latter work has been archived by the Pandora Project (National Library). He has been a member of the New South Wales Writers' Centre and the Australian Script Writers Association.
His most recent work includes the novel Primary Instinct (2008), a satire about the primary school system; Real Guns (2007) a children's picture book, the Project Earth-mend Series of junior novels, including The Greenhouse Effect (2004) and Global Cooling (2008). A feature film Hemingway in Spain, based on his poetry book of the same title (2007); Mum: speaking Latin with a singlet tan, a documentary film based on the work of Sydney artist Dale Kentwell.
He was a winner of the Queensland Premier's Poetry Award and has been Highly Commended in the South Australian Literary Awards, Highly Commended for the Steele Rudd Short Fiction Award, and has held writer-in-residencies at Booranga, Bundanon, the Michael King Centre (NZ) and will be Established Writer-in-Residence at that KSP Centre in Perth in 2010.