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TASC English Literature: Gwen Harwood

Resources for TASC English Literature 3 course

Reference books

Audio of Gwen Harwood

Portrait of Gwen Harwood, West Hobart, 1988, by Alec Bolton (National Library of Australia; nla.pic-vn3119883 used with the kind permission of Mrs Rosemary Dobson Bolton)Gwen Harwood: An episode of Poetica on Radio National dedicated to Gwen Harwood's poetry. Notes include a brief description of her work as a poet. Download the audio to listen to Gwen herself talking about her poetry, then she reads Barn Owl.

Gender roles in Australia

Literary context

Reclaim Her Name: why we should free Australia’s female novelists from their male pseudonyms - article in The Conversation. A discussion of the sexism apparent in the literary world that led Gwen Harwood to create her hoax upon The Bulletin. Includes examples of other female writers who chose male pseudonyms and their thoughts on sexims in publishing.

Poetry Hero: Gwen Harwood : brief but informative commentary by another Australian poet, Katherine Gallagher

Bonny Cassidy — Gwen Harwood's Barn Owl: family as a stage for big ideas


Harwood, Gwendoline Nessie - Australian Dictionary of Biography - this article is a clear overview of Gewn Harwood's life and work, and some of the attitudes and experiences that shaped her writing. Links to further resources at the end of the article.

Gwen Harwood: A biography - Tasmanian Times website. Includes some useful thoughts on the reactions to the Walter Lehman hoax.

Blessed City - The Letters of Gwen Harwood to Thomas Riddell, January to September 1943 - ebook - Borrow from Libraries Tasmania through OverDrive. Requires current Libraries Tasmania library card.

Breaking free: the many voices of Gwen Harwood - Weekend Australian article with extensive discussion of life and work.

Gwen Harwood: An Introductory Approach by Mário Vítor Bastos, ULICES - University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies. An essay analysing the varoius writings of Gwen Harwood, including particular reference to the influence of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein on her work.

Gwen Harwood - A Search for Meaning by Margie Beck; Religion, Literature and the Arts Project: Conference Proceedings of the Australian International Conference 1995. Excellent discussion of the themes Gwen Harwood explored in her poetry. Includes examples of importance of Wittgenstein's ideas in her writings.