Gwen Harwood AO



Mr Chancellor, 

Despite moving to Tasmania in 1945 Gwen Harwood still regards Queensland as home and Brisbane, her birthplace, remains the 'Blessed City' which she visits whenever possible. Long regarded as one of Australia's greatest living poets, she published her first volume, named simply 'Poems', in 1963. Subsequent volumes, including' Collected Poems' published by Oxford University Press, commanded an international readership and world wide reputation, enhanced by the translation of some of her work into French, German and Italian, a rare distinction for poetic composition. She ­has an impressive collection of poetry prizes and literary awards, is an Officer of the Order of Australia, and an Honorary Doctor of Letters of the University of Tasmania. Her versatility has been demonstrated by her work as a librettist, her continuing productivity by her work on the next volume of poetry, and her life and achievements being currently recorded in a biography under preparation in this University. In the past she has sought the cover of pseudonyms and in 1961 practised a celebrated hoax on 'The Bulletin'. Tonight she appears as herself. 

Mr Chancellor, For her distinguished contributions to Australian literature, I present to you Gwen Harwood, Officer of the Order of Australia, Honorary Doctor of Letters of the University of Tasmania, for the conferral of the award of Doctor of Letters honoris causa, to which she has been admitted by the Senate of the University. 


Doctor of Letters honoris causa