Antigone Kefala (born 28 May 1935) is a contemporary 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. 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.
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. 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. It is characterised by an austere allusiveness unusual in Australian poetry. Aside from Greek and English it has been translated into Czech and French.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 2017 Queensland Literary Awards – State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award for Fragments
- "Antigone Kefala". Australian Poetry Library. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
- "Winners and Finalists". Queensland Literary Awards. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
- "Antigone Kefala: A writer's journey". Owl Publishing. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- 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.
- Adelaide, Debra (1988) Australian Women Writers: A bibliographic guide, London, Pandora.
- Evdokia, Fourkioti. "Book Launch in Melbourne Antigone Kefala: A Writer's Journey". Greek Reporter Australia. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
- "Winners of prestigious Queensland Literary Awards announced". Queensland Government. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- Antigone Kefala on Australian Poetry Library
- 3 poems with German translations in Gangway #1
- "Journal II" prose poem in Gangway #18
- "Alexia: Antigone Kefala's overdue fairytale" by Michael Tsianikas
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