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Poet and short story writer Beth Spencer has also written essays, reviews and ficto-criticism. She contributed to ABC Radio programs and in 2004 produced a CD Body of Words, and a CD-ROM Box of Words as resources for students of English and creative writing. Spencer has performed and discussed her work at literary festivals, conferences, schools and libraries.
Her early childhood was spent on a dairy farm and her teenage years in Melbourne. She completed a B.A. at Monash University, Melbourne, and in the early eighties moved to Sydney. In 1997 she returned to Melbourne, and in 2000 moved to a small country town in Victoria.
Among Spencer's work for radio are the following works, including radio versions of some of her short fiction (also noted on individual work records):
'Come with Us to Adventure Island' and 'We'll Be Thinking of You'. In The Mix 8/3/91 and Screen 14/3/91; repeated on Arts National (1991), Radio Eye (1997), and Arts Today (1999). Two-part scripted feature about the 1960s' children's television program, Adventure Island. Devised and produced in collaboration with Claudia Taranto. (2 x 30 min.)
'Eve in the Garden.' The Listening Room, March 1992. Experimental audio-arts piece for four voices. Based on a prose-poem originally published in Mattoid in 1986 and later published in How to Conceive of a Girl (Random House, 1996). (20 min.)
'Fear Snaked Up Her Throat: Romance in the Nineties.' In The Mix, March 1992. Feature including interviews, performed essay text, and a performance with three voices of 'By My Look's Caress' (originally published in the collection My Look's Caress). (58 min.)
'Doing the Rock.' The Listening Room, November 1991 & June 1992; Radio Eye, 1997. Based on a prose poem from Westerly. (10 min.)
'Playing the Man: Football Memories'. In The Mix, 19/7/91; repeated Arts National (1991), The Sports Factor (1996), Radio Eye (1997), Life Matters (1998). (11 min.) (Later published in Ulitarra, The Age, and Storyweavers.)
'Those Two Little Words.' Produced by Matthew Leonard. Radio Eye, December 2000. (12min., 22sec.)
'The True Story of an Escape Artist'. Produced by Brent Clough; Radio Eye, Sunday 30th Oct. 1994. (c.10min.) Extracts from the piece originally published in Family Pictures.
Reading from 'A Lover of Space' (from How to Conceive of a Girl), The Comfort Zone, December 1997. (c5min.)
'The Family Man' (from Things in a Glass Box). Produced by Mike Ladd; The Box Seat, 19/1/95. (c.3min.)
'Love Poem' & 'We are the Rejected' – (from Things in a Glass Box), live, Arts Today 'New Writers' segment, 24/4/95. (5min.)
'A collection that crosses boundaries of genre and time; meditating on history, memory, representation and desire. A ten year old visits her brother in hospital across a state border after a car accident; growing up in the age of Fibs bras and the rise and fall of the Whitlam government; the cast of Fatal Attraction let loose on the streets of Newtown; a montage of romance, dating advice and a teenage girl’s exploration of desire; a band of tourists visit Uluru; a man struggles for control of his life story; and a memoir using photographs reinventing relationships and belonging.'