Sarah Day, Poet

Sarah Day was born in England and grew up in Tasmania.

She has received grants from the Literature Fund of the Australia Council and Arts Tasmania and was resident at the BR Whiting Library in Rome. She was invited to the Festival de Poesie in Paris in 2001 and 2004 and has been a guest at Australian festivals including Adelaide, Melbourne, Mildura, Byron Bay, Brisbane and Hobart writers festivals and at King’s Lynn in England.

Her poems have been have been widely anthologised in Australia. They have also been published in translation in Chinese and French and have been appeared in magazines such as Verse, Virginia Quarterly Review, Antipodes, Chicago Review in US.

She was poetry editor of Island Magazine for seven years. She lives in Hobart with her husband and two daughters. She has taught English and Creative Writing for a number of years at university and year 12 level. She has been a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council. Austlit website

Published work includes:

Tempo (Puncher & Wattmann 2013) is her most recent collection. A selection from it won the University of Melbourne Wesley Michel Wright Prize 2014. It has been short listed in the 2014 the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

Grass Notes (Brandl & Schlesinger Dec, 2009)

The Ship (Brandl & Schlesinger 2004) won the University of Melbourne Wesley Michel Wright Prize 2004, the Queensland Premier’s Judith Wright Calanthe Award for Poetry 2005 and was joint winner of the ACT Art & Literary Awards’ Judith Wright Prize with Joanne Burns.

In 2002 her New and Selected Poems was published by Arc in UK where it received a High Recommendation by the Poetry Book Society. It was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Awards. Before that, Quickening (Penguin Books Australia Ltd.) was published in 1997.

Her other books include A Hunger to be Less Serious which won the Anne Elder Award for a first volume of poetry in 1987 and A Madder Dance which was shortlisted for the NBC Banjo Awards.

Works set to music


Certain Lights Reflecting

Frst performance given by the late Susan Chilcott, mezzo-soprano, + the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Paul Daniel at the Cheltenham International Music Festival, 14th July 1989

Australian premiere February 1990: Merlyn Quaife, mezzo-sopr. + Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dobbs Franks. Australian broadcasts of this performance: ABC FM 18.3.1990 and unspecified date 2004–5; 2MBS FM 1.12.1990.

Available on ABC Classics CD, details unknown.

BBC recording: Susan Bickley, mezzo-sopr., + BBC Symphony Orch. Conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, Maida Vale Studios, London, 9.1.1992, broadcast in Music in our Time, 15.11.1992.

Now available on CD or download: NMC D105

Dream Carousels

First performance given by RNCM Wind Orchestra cond., by Timothy Reynish, Royal Festival Hall, London, 26th February 1989.

Now available on CD or download: NMC D068

… into the Gyre of a Madder Dance

First performance given by Hallé Orchestra wind ensemble, Conducted by Ole Schmidt, Free Trade Hall, Manchester, 23.2.1995.

Most recently performed by Trinity-Laban Wind Ensemble cond. Michael Collins, Blackheath Halls, London, 20.1.2011

Recorded by RNCM Wind Ensemble cond. Clark Rundell on NMC D105


Poems 2009. Performed by baritone Michael Lampard


Improvisation-image-voice: A collaborative studio recording with Tasmanian poets (1999)


Magnification x, 2004