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Angela Gardner lived in Melbourne as a child, when her father worked for the Mission to Seaman for some time. After studying art at the University of Wales and learning upholstery, she migrated to Australia in 1988. She has lived in Sydney, Brisbane, and the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. She received a Master of Arts in Visual Arts from Griffith University's College of Arts in 2002.
Among a number of residencies, awards, and prizes, Gardner has received a Churchill Fellowship (2007) to investigate collaborations between poets and visual artists in the US and the UK. In 2008 she was awarded a Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy (VACS) grant, an initiative of the State and Federal governments, administered by Arts Queensland, to create two limited edition artists books. Working with Brisbane-based printmakers, Gwenn Tasker and Lisa Pullen, lino-cut prints and etchings were produced that respond to her poetry series, 'The Twelve Labours' and 'The Night Ladder'. These works were published in limited edition fine press books. Some images of her artworks can be seen at the Jacket 2 website, 2012.
Also in 2008, Gardner won an Australia Council for the Arts Literature Board residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland, which she undertook in mid 2009. While in Ireland, Gardner met G C Waldrep, a renowned American poet, and Cherry Smyth a highly awarded London-based Irish poet. Both poets have become important mentors and early readers for many of her poems.
Gardner's poetry has been well reviewed and she has read at the Queensland Poetry Festival a number of times.
In 2017, the judges of the 2018 Dorothy Hewett Award described her recent work as: "With a hovering intelligence and a laudable lack of ego, the beautifully controlled poems of ‘Some Sketchy Notes on Matter’ investigate the world with an ecstatic’s eye." (Press release)