Born and educated in Melbourne, Diane graduated with a DipEd (1972) and an MA in literature (1975) from the University of Melbourne, and taught at Box Hill Technical College (1973) and Burwood Teachers' College (tutor, 1977-9). She lived in England for three years and took a Human Relations course at the College of the Richmond Fellowship, London, 1985. She moved to Adelaide in 1986, lecturing in Literary Studies at the Salisbury Campus of the University of SA. She remained in SA for six years, later working at Deakin University (tutor, 1996), and for the Council of Adult Education, Melbourne (1996).
Fahey was Poetry Editor of Voices(National Library, Canberra, 1997). She has received three Writer's Fellowships from the Literature Board of the Australia Council (1987, 1988, 1990), two Writer's Grants from the SA Dept of the Arts and Cultural Heritage (1991, 1992), a Writer's Grant from the Victorian government (1995) and the Felix Meyer Scholarship from the University of Melbourne in 1989.
Fahey has led creative writing courses both in Australia and overseas and has had residencies in Venice (1987), Kangaroo Island (1988), Varuna, NSW (1991) and Hawthornden, Scotland (1993), as well as being Writer in Residence at Ormond College, University of Melbourne (1989) and at the University of Adelaide (1997). In 1997 she received a three-year grant from the Australia Council. Her poems have been read on the ABC, 5UV, 3RRR and 3CR, and a video of her poetry reading was made by the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra. She was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Western Sydney in 2001 and received an Arts Victoria Grant for 2001.
She says of herself in an article in Kunapipi, 'I write, in the first instance, to sort myself out, to further my discovery of who I am... Secondly, I write as an act of engagement with the human world in which I find myself.' She now lives by the sea in country Victoria. Her current interests include ecology, fairytales, Victorian fiction and the Gothic.
Fahey has won a large number of awards. Some are indexed separately below. Others include: the McGregor Poetry Award (1978), commended in the Wesley Michael Wright Poetry Prize (1985). She won second prize at the National Schizophrenia Fellowship International Poetry Competition 1983. Overseas, she won 3rd prize at the 1982 Writers' Week poetry competition, Ireland, and was Commended at the Scottish National Poetry Competition, 1984.
'In The Stone Garden, Diane Fahey offers a vibrant engagement with key features of County Clare’s natural environment. Starting in a cottage in the north-east, with a long view of the coast, the poet journeys into the further reaches – Lough Derg, Dromore Wood, and the Burren region with its stony but uncannily fertile landscapes, cliffs and shores.
'The Stone Garden is a resonant, meditative collection of poems presenting intimate glimpses of, and larger perspectives on, the splendours of Clare.'
'The Wing Collection presents a broad overview of the distinctive contribution Diane Fahey has made to Australian poetry over the course of thirty years. It offers extensive selections from her work on birds and insects, on the worlds of myth and story, and on meetings with river and sea. A search for spiritual touchstones guides her many-layered explorations of the mysteries of place, time, and transformation.' (Publication summary)