Head shot_Black jumper_Julie Maclean

Hi! Thanks for visiting. I’m an Anglo-Australian writer from Bristol, UK, living on the Surf Coast in Victoria, Australia. My poems, short fiction and reviews have appeared in The Best Australian Poetry, Poetry Foundation, BODY Literature, Shearsman, Southerly, Island, FLASH (UK and US), Overland, Cordite Review, Poetry Salzburg, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Rabbit Poetry, The Antigonish Review, Event, The Rialto, The Griffith Review, and Kill Your Darlings, among others.

My latest chapbooks attempt to capture the spirit of this haunting and haunted country. Spirit, (visiting the ghosts of Tasmania), Mirage (a Journey to the Red Heart) and Unsettled (a Journey to the Far North).


Lake Pedder Dilemma

There are times I pike-dive into the eye
of my past—glacial lakes, cirques beckoning

As warriors we nudged moraine out of the way
making moats, castles with flags

Our theatre gleamed in the wash of a wake
jetsam was treasure in our pirate imaginations

These days I seem to be growing gills in almost
every poem— gliding slowly like corralled salmon

no longer upriver       ear pressed to the sound of the now—
white irises opening in the moonlight

wattle birds performing courtship rituals
growling from the high line of my balustrade

From Spirit (ghosts of Tasmania). First appeared in The Antigonish Review (Canada)


The sun that bled
into the mulga today cast deep shadows
as we carved a swale through gidgee trees
looking for a place to stop for the night

The hare has been the hero
for three moons now obscured
by drifting cirrus yet so bright it brought
dingo tracks to camp

And when I listened
he was listening and when I heard
his mournful howl
I knew he was alone

At times like this
I think of you as oceans
of silica ebb and flow across suns, moons
whole galaxies between us now

Mirage (journey to the Red Heart)



Up early in our rented Getz
brightly red   pokey on the turns
we cross a Myall Creek   There must be two

Not this one New South Wales 1838
when thirty Wirrayaraay  mums
and bubs, old guys whittling sticks
are bushwhacked into a yard
scorched one by one behind a hill

But this one      sleepy Daintree spot
at the foot of Mt Sorrow    PK’s Jungle Bar
where we drink beer, watch the Ashes
disappear into the new Sony flat screen

Heading south we stop to let
a cassowary dad and fluffy dino babe
walk out to peck the bitumen –roadkill remains

Like the boy section D row 7 of the Port cemetery
Slashed to the bowel by that middle toe
Stabbed by raptor stiletto         Aged sixteen      Dan Mclean    Pupil no 4
Caught in the creek learning his last lesson 

Our cameras focus on the neck
cobalt blue   scarlet wattle

Black gloss of forest demon
trapped in a Canon click

So easy through the lens        

Unsettled (journey to the far North). First appeared in Southerly.


When I saw Jimi, my full collection, a memoir of growing up in Sixties Britain, was shortlisted for The Crashaw Prize, Salt, UK, 2012. We were described as ‘major new talents’. It was published as joint winner of the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize, Indigo Dreams Publishing, UK, 2013. 

wisj front (2)

My other chapbooks include: Tango Boleo, (with Avril Bradley) Ginninderra Press, 2019, Lips That Did, Dancing Girl Press, US, 2017, To Have to Follow, (with Terry Quinn), Indigo Dreams, UK, 2016, Kiss of the Viking, Poetry Salzburg, 2014,


You Love You Leave -e-chapbook, Kind of a Hurricane Press, US, 2014. 

Other Stuff

In 2019 a short story The Harry Chair White was shortlisted for Overland’s Fair Australia Prize and in 2020 an essay Wandering Dogs Broken Hearts shortlisted for the Bass Coast Prize for Non-Fiction. In 2018 I was longlisted in The Rialto Nature and Place Poetry Competition and had two poems highly commended in the 2017 W B Yeats Poetry Prize. In 2017 I won Best Poem in fourWNew Writing 27, Highly commended in 2016. One of my poems How Deep is Your Love was shortlisted for the RedRoom Company New Shoots Project in 2016.

I was one of two poets, in addition to commissioned works, selected for Wandering Words, a chapbook of ekphrastic poems presented at Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy, London, 2014. The winning poem;

A Forest Went to Upton Cheyney for a Walk
After Li Xiaodong, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014

You can’t imagine how
stupid we looked
in the deepest
days of our hiding
My snow past
That day coppiced rods failed
to conceal us in our lust,
fumbling haste
my red fur boots, leaking

We tried to make love
on the snow floor
Coats on, gloves off
in some foolish trance or truce
where leaves had nothing
to do with it
There were none
just see-through see-all sticks
The floor gave way

Our clandestine meetings
on mountains in forests,
everything coursed
melting glaciers
before that sinister front
diffusing what little light was left
made us hurry back to the car,
wet, looking ridiculous

It was later
the ice burned through

As feature poet I’ve appeared in LA Cultural Review, Sundress Best Dressed, US, Tincture, Melbourne Poets Union, Winter Words at Airey’s Inlet, Poetry at the Dan, Melbourne, Damson Poets, UK, on Tania Hershman’s blogspot and Clare Carlin’s Pieced Work.

My work appears in several anthologies including The Result Is What You See Today, (Smith/Doorstop anthology on running, 2019), Best Australian Poetry (UQP), Australian Poetry Journal and AnthologySylvia is Missing (Flarestacks)Heartshoots (Indigo Dreams), fourW New Writing (Booranga Writers)Motherhood, Dance and The Sea (The Emma Press)

I conduct writing workshops, edit poetry and fiction and mentor emerging writers.

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