AustLit logo
Susan Hawthorne Susan Hawthorne i(A35609 works by)
Born: Established: 1951 Wagga Wagga, Wagga Wagga area, Riverina - Murray area, New South Wales, ;
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.


Susan Hawthorne is an author of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.

Her poetry collection Cow was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize in the 2012 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, and was also a finalist in the 2012 Audre Lorde Lesbian Poetry Prize (USA). Earth’s Breath was shortlisted for the 2010 Judith Wright Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in annual Best Australian Poems anthologies, been broadcast on Poetica and other Radio National programs, and published around the world in literary journals and anthologies.

She has had two international residencies. In 2013, she was Literature Resident at the BR Whiting Studio in Rome, and in 2009, she was Asialink Resident at the University of Madras, Chennai, India.

A former senior editor at Penguin Books, Susan Hawthorne is a co-founder with Renate Klein of Australian feminist publisher Spinifex Press, established in 1991. She gained her PhD in Women's Studies at the University of Melbourne, has taught Philosophy, Education, Literature and Women's Studies at tertiary level, and has been an Academic Associate at Victoria University and Adjunct Professor in Writing at James Cook University.

She has supervised (both PhDs and MAs) and mentored numerous writers in universities and through the Australian Society of Authors. She is Director of Spinifex Press, playing a leading role in independent publishing and eBook publishing, and is the English-language Co-ordinator at the International Alliance of Independent Publishers (based in Paris).

Several of her books have been translated into German and Spanish.

Susan Hawthorne is fascinated by mythology and ancient languages, and has studied Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, and Latin. For many years, she wrote scripts and performed in the Performing Older Women’s Circus and the Women’s Circus. She has written works for solo aerials and poetic text, which she has performed at writers' festivals and conferences in Australia, New Zealand, USA, and India.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2015 recipient George Robertson Award
2012 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Six month residency at the Whiting studio, Rome, 2 August 2013 - 27 January 2014
2009 Asialink Literature Residency Program A residency at the University of Madras to develop skills in the art of Indian poetry rhythms.

Awards for Works

Dark Matters 2017 single work novel

'In a dawn raid, Ekaterina is arrested. She is imprisoned, beaten, kept awake and tortured. She has no idea what has happened to her partner, Mercedes. The uncertainty plagues her. It is as if she has no history. Trying to retain her sense of self in swirling psychic state, she invents stories. And she remembers stories of her mother, her grandmothers and aunts, the rich mythic traditions of Greece. She rearranges them writes poems in her head. Thirty years later, her niece Desi is going through Kate's papers after her death trying to make sense of her aunts life. Susan Hawthorne's dark story uncovers hidden history of organised violence. She traces fear and uncertainty, and finds a narrative of resilience created through the writing of poems. The author asks: how do we pass on stories hidden by shame and resistance to shame? A novel that is both poetic and terrifying.' (Synopsis)

2018 longlisted Davitt Award Best Debut
2018 longlisted Davitt Award Best Adult Crime Novel
Last amended 9 Nov 2018 10:05:32
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: