Elizabeth Allen has had her poetry published in several Australian literary journals and magazines including Hermes, Hobo and Southerly. A chapbook of her poetry, Forgetful Hands, was published in 2005 and a full-length collection, Body Language, in 2012, both by Vagabond Press. The latter collection won the Anne Elder Award.
Allen has managed a Sydney bookstore and worked for Vagabond Press as part of their production and launch team. She has been a judge of the inaugural Noel Rowe Poetry Award and carried out a writing residency at the Arteles Creative Centre in Finland (in 2016).
'Body Language is a strong debut collection. Rather than heralding the sudden arrival of an exciting new voice in Australian poetry this book represents a voice that has been there for some time but is only just now confident enough to speak up and make itself heard, for Allen has been a silent participant and observer in the Australian poetry scene for some time. Here she writes about everyday experiences – doing a crossword, studying a bunch of flowers, watching a bird out the window – as they are refracted through the prism of the poet’s mind with all its obsessions, anxieties and peculiar sensitivities. Allen writes about grief and how we repeatedly make sense of absence, with moving accuracy. Her poetry is mindful and grounded in the body, but it also goes off on unusual imaginative tangents. These poems take us from Sydney to Italy, from the psychiatrist’s office to the hairdresser’s; there is sex, love, and friendship, and even Kate Moss makes an appearance. Allen’s poems are concerned with emotional rather than factual accuracy.'