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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
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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 (poems by Pavlova and Sedakova published on the Berlin-based site Lyrikline).

Jena Woodhouse has a Master's degree in Creative Writing (QUT 2003) and is completing a PhD in Creative Writing. Her publications include the lyrics for the song-cycles “River Songs” (1990) and “Evie Dances” (2018) and several individual songs, with music by Queensland-based composer Betty Beath. Woodhouse has been the recipient of a number of writer’s fellowships and creative residencies. These include a Fellowship at Hawthornden International Writers' Retreat (Scotland) in 2011; a Tenot Foundation Bursary to CAMAC Centre d’Art, Marnay-sur-Seine, France (2015); a Creative Residency at the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, Greece (2015); three writing retreats at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland (2017, 2018, 2019). Her poetry has also been represented at the Festival of Russian poetry abroad "Эмигрантская лира" in Brussels, Liege, and Paris (2019) and in the associated anthology. Two of her poems were shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize (Canada) in 2013 and 2015, and appeared in the Global Anthologies for those years (Vehicule Press, Montreal). (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)

Awards for Works

Lament for a Daughter i "In darkness, cauled in purple wool you nest, my pale", 2020 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Montreal International Poetry Prize - 2020 Shortlist 2020;
2020 shortlisted Montreal International Poetry Prize
Wanderers i "A scientist has likened them to ‘flying weeds’,", 2019 single work poetry
— Appears in: Ipswich Poetry Feast 2019; Eureka Street , 1 December vol. 29 no. 24 2019;
2019 winner Ipswich Poetry Feast Awards Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Award – Open Age Other Poetry
Last amended 26 Oct 2020 07:45:10
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