About Lizz Murphy


Lizz Murphy has read her poetry in cafés and courthouses, feasts and festivals, schools and sculleries. She moved to the bush (Binalong NSW) over thirty years ago for fresh air and country schools and before long found herself commuting to Canberra for work and writing on buses (you have to be fast). She has worked in publishing, arts marketing, arts and poetry development, community arts and the media (but not in that order). She has facilitated creative writing workshops from Nowra NSW to Nhulunbuy NT and is the current Canberra Times Poetry Editor.


Lizz Murphy has published thirteen books. Shebird (PressPress 2016) is her eighth poetry title. Some titles are full collections, some not so full. Portraits: 54 Poems (PressPress) was released in 2013 and Six Hundred Dollars (PressPress) in 2010. Her other collections are: Walk the Wildly (Picaro Press; re-released Ginninderra Press/Picaro 2017), Stop Your Cryin (Island Press), Two Lips Went Shopping (Spinifex Press, print and e-book), Pearls and Bullets (Island Press) and Do Fish Get Seasick (Polonius Press). Her five anthologies and community publications include Wee Girls: Women Writing from an Irish Perspective (editor, Spinifex Press) and the social history The Pearly Griffin: The Story of the Old Griffin Centre (co-editor with Sarah St Vincent Welch, ACT DHCS). She is widely published in Australia and has poems published in Canada, China, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland and USA and translated into Bengali, Chinese, French, Gaelic, Polish and Serbian.

Before poetry Lizz used to paint. Now she occasionally works with art & text. In 2011 she was in a group exhibition titled Skin with three other artists: Kelly De Olivera, Deborah Faeyrglenn and Cheryl Jobsz, at ANCA Gallery, Canberra. In 2005 (with Deborah Faeyrglenn) and 2006 (with Suzette Boddington) she had collaborative art & text works shown in group exhibitions at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery.

Lizz always wanted to fly in a helicopter and to go to Darwin. She got to do both through Northern Territory Writers Week 2001. One day she'd like to go back there. Other festivals include Adelaide Fringe, Shoalhaven Poetry Festival, Spring Poetry Festival Canberra, Weereewa Festival and the Australian Poetry Festival. She was a featured poet in the fabulous Tasmanian Poetry Festival (Launceston) in 2014. Other places poetry has taken her include SE NSW with the Poets in Court tour 2001, Broken Hill to Katoomba - Poets on Wheels 2003 (Poets Union) and Kolkata/Calcutta - Australia-India Poetry Exchange 2006 and 2007. 

A visual arts past is steering Lizz towards art & text and public art. Her series of works in the group show Skin (see above) incorporated collected materials and original poetry. She instigated and coordinated the poetry-based public art program Poetry: The Indelible Stencil in partnership with Southern Tablelands Arts (STARTS) and eight local governments. A team of ten regional poets were commissioned to write micro poems. Selected works were cut into large steel panels and installed across the arts region.

Lizz Murphy is the co-winner of the 2011 Rosemary Dobson Poetry Prize. She won the Anutech Poetry Prize 1994 and the ACT Creative Arts Fellowship for Literature 1998. She was Highly Commended in the 2013 Blake Poetry Prize, a finalist in the UK's 2013 and 2014 Aesthetica Writing Competitions (Poetry), shortlisted in the David Campbell Poetry Prize 2007, gained a committee mention in the Max Harris Poetry Prize 2008. Other awards include a 2010 Regional Arts Fund Quick Response Grant for a mentorship in digital poetry; an artsACT Travel Grant and a CAPO Singapore Airlines Travel Award to visit India in 2006 and 2007. 

Lizz Murphy was born in Belfast, Ireland. She has lived in Binalong NSW for ages. Binalong is 100 km from Canberra so is also part of the Canberra Region. She enjoys a strong relationship with poetry and arts communities on both sides of the border and makes poems in both places.


Memberships: ACT Writers Centre, Australian Poetry LtdSTARTS, Binalong Arts Group Inc (BAG).

For A Poet’s Slant visit her blog: lizzmurphypoet.blogspot.com (regular posts - poetry readings, poetry news, new poetry, what I'm reading or googling, mini-reviews and the blogumn Rhythm & Muse) and website: http://sites.google.com/site/lizzmurphypoet (more book information, sample poems, images, CVs, etc — will be more active again in 2018).

For a year's new work/in progress day by day (2016) by Lizz and an international group of poets and artists visit Project 366 coordinated by Kit Kelen at project365plus.com.au A brilliant experience. Some continued through 2017.

Contact: lizzmurphy7[at]gmail[dot]com[dot]au or write to Post Office Binalong NSW 2584 Australia or visit on Facebook - look for Lizz Murphy Author.