'Growing up in an Australian country town, one might think that Australian literature would be a key staple in the school syllabus. Sadly, this was not my experience, and it has been a shortcoming that I have only come to appreciate the extent of while at university. My forays into the tradition of great Australian literature constantly and pleasantly surprise me, and one recent discovery has been the work of Thea Astley. Astley was certainly a prolific novelist—having written fifteen books over the course of her career—but more importantly, she was an accomplished writer; a fact often overlooked despite her impressive collection of literary honours. Although she had been writing from the early 1960s until well into the late 1990s, my education up until now had provided me with scant opportunity to encounter this heavyweight of Australian literature. Before coming across Selected Poems, edited by Cheryl Taylor and introduced by Susan Wyndham, the name Thea Astley had sparked only the vaguest of recollections in my mind.