Jennifer Maiden

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Jennifer Maiden (born 7 April 1949) is an Australian poet. She was born in Penrith, New South Wales, and has had 22 books published: 20 poetry collections and 2 novels. She began writing professionally in the late 1960s and has been active in Sydney's literary scene since then. She took a BA at Macquarie University in the early 1970s. She has one daughter, Katharine Margot Toohey. Aside from writing, Jennifer Maiden runs writers workshops with a variety of literary, community and educational organizations and has co-written (with Margaret Cunningham Bennett) a manual of questions to facilitate writing by Torture and Trauma Victims.

Works and awards[edit]

Among Jennifer Maiden's many awards are three Kenneth Slessor Prizes for Poetry, two C. J. Dennis Prize for Poetry,the overall Victorian Prize for Literature, the Harri Jones Memorial Prize, the H.M. Butterly-F.Earle Hooper Award(University of Sydney), the Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival Prize, the FAW Christopher Brennan Award for lifetime achievement in poetry, two The Melbourne Age Poetry Book of the Year awards, the overall Melbourne Age Book of the Year and the ALS Gold Medal. She has had residencies at the Australian National University, the University of Western Sydney, Springwood High School and the New South Wales Torture and Trauma Rehabilitation Service. She has been awarded several Fellowships by the Australia Council.

Her second novel Play With Knives has been translated into German as Ein Messer im Haus (dtv, 1994).

Her fourth latest Australian collection, Pirate Rain, won The Melbourne Age Poetry Book of the Year in 2010 and the N.S.W. Premier's Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry in 2011. She is the only writer to have won the Kenneth Slessor Prize three times.

In October 2011, the Australian magazine of politics, society and culture, The Monthly, listed her poetry collection, Friendly Fire (2005), as the poetry book in their selection of 20 Australian Masterpieces since 2000, when they asked 20 Australian art critics to identify "the most significant work of art in their field since 2000".[1]

Her first UK collection, Intimate Geography, which is a selection from four of her Australian collections (Acoustic Shadow, Mines, Friendly Fire and Pirate Rain), was published by Bloodaxe Books in March, 2012.

Jennifer Maiden.
Jennifer Maiden.

Her third latest Australian collection, Liquid Nitrogen, was published by Giramondo in November, 2012, won the C. J. Dennis Prize for Poetry and the overall Victorian Prize for Literature, and was shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize,[2] the Australian Prime Minister's Awards, and the Judith Wright Calanthe Award. A chapbook of some of her new poems, The Violence of Waiting, was published by Vagabond Press in November, 2013. Her second latest collection, Drones and Phantoms, was published by Giramondo in 2014, and won the 2015 ALS Gold Medal. Her latest collection, The Fox Petition, was published by Giramondo in November, 2015.




  • Maiden, Jennifer (1974). Tactics. St Lucia, Qld.: UQP. 
  • The Problem of Evil. (Prism, 1975)
  • The Occupying Forces. (Gargoyle, 1975)
  • Mortal Details. (Rigmarole, 1977)
  • Birthstones. (Angus & Robertson, 1978)
  • The Border Loss. (Angus & Robertson, 1979)
  • For The Left Hand. (South Head, 1981)
  • The Trust. (Black Lightning, 1988)
  • Bastille Day. (NLA, 1990)
  • Selected Poems of Jennifer Maiden. (Penguin, 1990)
  • The Winter Baby. (Angus & Robertson, 1990)
  • Acoustic Shadow. (Penguin, 1993)
  • Mines. (Paper Bark, 1999) ISBN 90-5704-046-8
  • Friendly Fire (Giramondo, 2005) ISBN 1-920882-12-X
  • Pirate Rain (Giramondo, 2010) ISBN 978-1-920882-59-4
  • Intimate Geography: Selected Poems 1991-2010 (Bloodaxe Books, 2012) ISBN 978-1-85224-926-7
  • Liquid Nitrogen (Giramondo, 2012) ISBN 978-1-920882-99-0
  • The Violence of Waiting (Vagabond Press, 2013)
  • Drones and Phantoms (Giramondo, 2014) ISBN 978-1-922146-72-4
  • The Fox Petition (Giramondo, 2015) ISBN 978-1-922146-94-6

List of poems[edit]

Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
Diary poem: uses of cosiness 2013 "Diary poem: uses of cosiness". Australian Book Review 350: 56. April 2013. 


  • The Terms. (Hale & Iremonger, 1982)
  • Play With Knives. (Allen & Unwin, 1990)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]