AustLit logo
Jena Woodhouse Jena Woodhouse i(A24249 works by) (birth name: Jennifer May Spurway) (a.k.a. Jennifer May Woodhouse; Jena Woodhouse-Neklyaeva; Jennifer Woodhouse; Jeni Woodhouse)
Born: Established: 1949 Rockhampton, Rockhampton - Yeppoon area, Maryborough - Rockhampton area, Queensland, ;
Gender: Female
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Poet and fiction-writer Jena Woodhouse grew up on a farm on Queensland's Capricorn Coast. As a somewhat isolated child, she regarded books as her best friends. She later completed an honours degree in Russian Language and Literature at the University of Queensland (graduating with first class honours), and an additional triple major in English and Australian literature, and women's writing. Her other qualifications include a Diploma in Education also from the University of Queensland. Woodhouse received an Australian/Greek Travel Award for 1987-88, and lived and worked in Greece for a total of ten years. Her employment history includes posts as a tutor in Russian, a freelance fiction and poetry editor, an examiner in the Cambridge and Michigan Certificate examinations in English (for four years, in Greece), a sub-editor and features writer for an Athens-based subsidiary of the International Herald Tribune, and teaching English to immigrants and refugees. She is the translator of Vasil' Bykov's novel, ''His Battalion", published by UQP in their Soviet and East European Literature series, 1981, and also poems by Yannis Ritsos , Marina Tsvetaeva, Constantine Cavafy, Vera Pavlova and Olga Sedakova.

Jena Woodhouse has a Master's degree in Creative Writing (QUT 2003) and is completing a PhD in Creative Writing. Her publications include the words for the song-cycle River Songs (1990), with music by Betty Beath. She was awarded a Fellowship at Hawthornden International Writers' Retreat (Scotland) in 2010. (Source: Biographical summary courtesy of the author.])

Most Referenced Works


  • In 2008 Jena Woodhouse was awarded The Martin Downey Urban Realist Award (Melbourne Poets Union) for her poem 'Quinton Street: A Pied a Terre.'
  • In 2008, Jena Woodhouse won the 2008 Martin Downey Award for Urban Realism for her poem 'Quinton Street: a pied-à-terre.'

    Jena Woodhouse's poems Return of the Prodigal and Evening Stroll by the Canal appeared in the May 2016 Booranga Writers Centre newsletter.

  • Other works not individually indexed include: 

    • 'From Chile, A Source of Inspiration', Dance Australia, issue 18 December 1984-February 1985 pp 24-26
    • Robyn and Damask Roses, Syria Published in Eureka Street vol 27 no. 8 (
    • Four poems - Fig Tree, Mango Dreaming, Attar of Roses, and Paterson’s Curse published in New Shoots Anthology : Poems Inspired by Plants (Available online)
    • Sunday in the Walled Garden published in the Not Very Quiet women's poetry journal.  
    • Archives of the Feet (Highly commended in the Ipswich Poetry Feast competition)

Personal Awards

2017 highly commended Ipswich Poetry Feast Awards Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Award – Open Age Other Poetry

for Archives of the Feet 

2017 second place Henry Kendall Poetry Award for ‘Galahs near Booranga’
2016 shortlisted University of Canberra Health Poetry Prize for 'Why can't the mind'
Last amended 19 Dec 2017 11:48:28
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: