Anna Couani gained a Bachelor of Science (Architecture) degree in 1975 from the University of Sydney and a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in 1992 from the University of Technology, Sydney. Since 1972 Couani has taught Art, English, English as a Second Language and Australian Studies in high schools, including twenty years in Intensive English Centres. She has initiated many publishing projects in education, has written worksheets and booklets for teaching art for teachers, and has conducted numerous creative writing workshops and courses.
Couani worked with poet Ken Bolton on the small press magazine, Magic Sam and the book series, Sea Cruise Books, which she has operated alone from 1980, publishing Kris Hemensley, Robert Kenny, Joanne Burns, Pamela Brown, Barbara Brooks, Moya Costello and Carmel Kelly. She has been a founding member of the Sydney Women Writers' Workshop - No Regrets, President of the Sydney branch of the Poets Union, a member of Red Spark publishing collective and an advisory editor on HEAT magazine. Couani studied Chinese Painting, the method, and was an active painter for approximately six years, participating in several group shows. She has done illustrations and cover designs for small press publications: for most of her own books, in Magic Sam and for covers of No Regrets anthologies, Dodo magazine and Minute to Midnight. Couani has published work which she describes as prose or experimental writing in various literary journals, anthologies and collections and performed her work in many Sydney venues. Most of her work is available on the internet at her website: http://seacruise.ath.cx/annacouani/index.html
Dr Anne Brewster has described Anna Couani as 'a writer whose work, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, was often met with incomprehension. In many ways the literary and academic community during this period did not have the critical tools to evaluate her experimental poetics. During the late 1980s and 1990s there was a slow but sustained development of a more productive interest in her work, which currently resonates with the concerns of contemporary literary and cultural theory. These include an interest in everyday life, the body and a post-humanist, post-romantic subjectivity' ('Were All Women Experiment-Mad? Reading Anna Couani's Literary Experimentalism of the 1970s and 1980s', paper presented at ASAL Conference 2004).