Antigone Kefala

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Antigone Kefala (born 1935) is an Australian poet and prose-writer of Greek-Romanian heritage. She has been a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and is acknowledged as being an important voice in capturing the migrant experience in contemporary Australia.[1] In 2017, Kefala was awarded the State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection Judith Wright Calanthe Award at the Queensland Literary Awards for her collection of poems entitled Fragments.[2]

Born in Brăila, Romania in 1935, Kefala and family moved to Greece and then New Zealand after World War II. Having studied French Literature at Victoria University and obtained a MA, she relocated to Sydney, Australia in 1960.[3] There she has taught English as a second language and worked as a university and arts administrator. Her poetry and prose is written in both Greek and English, with Absence: New and Selected Poems reissued in a second edition in 1998.

Her work, written in free verse, has been described as having an almost metaphysical detachment.[4] It is characterised by an austere allusiveness unusual in Australian poetry. Aside from Greek and English it has been translated into Czech and French.[5]

In 2009, Antigone Kefala: A Writer’s Journey, an anthology of reviews, essays and analytical writing of Kefala's works edited by Professor Vrasidas Karalis and Helen Nickas was published by Owl Publishing.[6]



  • The Alien (Makar Press: 1973)
  • Thirsty Weather (Outback: 1978)
  • European Notebook (Hale & Iremonger: 1988)
  • Absence: New and selected poems (Sydney, Hale & Iremonger: 1992, 2nd ed. 1998)
  • Poems: A selection (Melbourne, Owl Publishing: 2000)
  • Fragments, Artarmon, N.S.W. Giramondo, 2016, ISBN 978-1-925336-19-1

Prose fiction

  • The First Journey (Wild & Woolley: 1975)
  • The Island (Hale & Iremonger: 1984)
  • Sunday Morning in The Oxford book of Australian Short Stories selected by Michael Wilding (Melbourne : Oxford University Press: 1994)
  • Summer Visit: Three Novellas (Giramondo Publishing: 2003)
  • Sydney Journals (Giramondo Publishing: 2008) ISBN 978-1-920882-41-9
  • Max: The Confessions of a Cat (Owl Publishing: 2009)

Awards and recognition[edit]


  1. ^ "Antigone Kefala". Australian Poetry Library. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Winners and Finalists". Queensland Literary Awards. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Antigone Kefala: A writer's journey". Owl Publishing. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  4. ^ Page, Geoff (25 February 2017). "Fragments and A House by the River review: Poetry of encounters and memories". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  5. ^ Adelaide, Debra (1988) Australian Women Writers: A bibliographic guide, London, Pandora.
  6. ^ Evdokia, Fourkioti. "Book Launch in Melbourne Antigone Kefala: A Writer's Journey". Greek Reporter Australia. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Winners of prestigious Queensland Literary Awards announced". Queensland Government. Retrieved 5 October 2017.

External links[edit]