The daughter of Merv Lilley and Dorothy Hewett (qq.v.), Kate Lilley published her first poem at the age of fifteen. She grew up in Perth, and, when her mother was offered a writing grant, the family moved to Sydney. Lilley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney, where she won the Henry Lawson Prize for Poetry in 1982. Lilley also won scholarships and fellowships to London and Oxford Universities, where she wrote a PhD on poetry.
Lilley has been an academic in the English Department at the University of Sydney, and has edited and contributed to a number of works on women's writing. Her research interests include gender, American and African-American poetry, and literary theory.
'The title poem of this collection ('Ladylike') draws on pamphlets associated with the notorious case of the bigamist Mary Carleton, who was executed in 1673, and texts contemporary with it; women from Sigmund Freud's case studies provide the material for the series of poems, 'Round Vienna'; and the sequence 'Cleft' is dedicated to Kate Lilley's mother, Australian literary giant Dorothy Hewett.
'Throughout this collection, Kate mines the areas of her scholarly specialisation - the early modern period - as well as contemporary popular culture and matches it with some of the twentieth century's enduring interests such as psychoanalysis and Freud.
'Ladylike is a valuable addition to Australian poetry at large and will be of interest to readers of poetry, early modern history, Freud and early psychoanalysis.' (From the publisher's website.)
Selected Poems of Dorothy Hewett2010selected work poetry 'Dorothy Hewett is one of Australia's best known poets. She had a long and frequently controversial career during which she produced twelve collections of poetry, three novels, an autobiography, thirteen plays and countless articles and short stories. This very special volume has been compiled and introduced by Kate Lilley, a poet, scholar and Dorothy's daughter.' (From the publisher's website.)