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Melinda Smith Melinda Smith i(A112255 works by) (a.k.a. Melinda Louise Smith)
Born: Established: 1971 Central West NSW, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
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Canberra-based poet Melinda Smith was born in the Central West of New South Wales (NSW). She grew up in Orange, NSW, then moved to Canberra when she was seventeen to study at the Australian National University (she graduated in Japanese Studies and Law in 1995).

Apart from spending a year in Osaka, Japan, two years in the UK and six months in Washington, DC, Smith has resided in Canberra since her graduation. She has worked as a University tutor, English teacher, tour guide, tea maid, barmaid, telemarketer, solicitor, public servant and software consultant. In 1996 she started a PhD in Japanese History at the University of Cambridge, but did not complete it.

From 2015 to 2017, she was the poetry editor of the Canberra Times.

Most Referenced Works


Personal Awards

2018 recipient The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund

for travel to Japan to attend a poetry translation workshop at Tokyo’s Meiji University

2011 recipient ACT Arts Grant

to assist with costs of producing new poems for a chapbook about autism, in 2011 - $14,904


For unpublished poem 'For William Eggleston'.

Awards for Works

For William Eggleston i "Cartier-Bresson told you", 2014 single work poetry
— Appears in: Axon : Creative Explorations , July vol. 4 no. 1 2014;
2014 shortlisted Manning Clark House National Cultural Awards Axel Clark Memorial Prize for Poetry
y separately published work icon Drag Down to Unlock or Place an Emergency Call World Square : Pitt Street Poetry , 2014 7185490 2014 selected work poetry

'Melinda Smith writes with exuberance and verve in a variety of forms, old and new. She is personal, opinionated,quirky, and you never know what a poem of hers will do. It is like some firework of unknown make and provenance, spluttering into incandescent life with more than a hint of danger. Wide-eyed surprise is her metier and unsurprisingly she is often to be found in the dashing pages of Quadrant where Les Murray has encouraged just such qualities for many years. (Publication summary)

2014 highly commended ACT Writing and Publishing Awards Poetry
2014 winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Poetry
y separately published work icon First... Then... : Poems from Planet Autism Port Adelaide : Ginninderra Press , 2012 Z1855063 2012 selected work poetry

'First...Then... is a short collection of 24 poems, mostly dramatic monlogues in various voices. The poems focus on the experience of living with autism, but you do not need to know or be an autistic person to enjoy this book. The poems are by turns moving, harrowing and laugh-out-loud funny, and provide a unique window into a much misunderstood facet of the human experience.'

Source: CircleQuirk website,

Sighted: 14/10/2016

2013 winner ACT Writing and Publishing Awards Poetry
Last amended 18 Apr 2018 10:38:38
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