DAY 2 of Books that Changed my Life


Day 2 of the 7 days of books that changed my life.

I was mooning around the Campus of Wollongong University, on the Australian Coast, avoiding duck poo in the long winding brick paths, dreaming about becoming a ‘writer’ and reading all sorts of authors and dabbling in poetry. As you do. So, there I was in my second hand denim jacket that came with train tickets in the pocket, and I picked up this volume with no context.

The Monkey’s Mask by Dorothy Porter blew my socks off. Not only was it sexy and dark and all those things you want your writing to be, it was a POEM and it was also a NARRATIVE. But it wasn’t one of those epics. And it was so engaging. And it was written by an Australian Woman. I was in love…

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Dorothy Porter eminent Australian poet and writer graduated from her arts degree the year I was born. She wrote in many fields – poetry, litbretti and also for young adults. At the time of her death she was collaborating on a rock Opera with Tim Finn. Her work was often dark and centred on the destructive nature of the human impulse. She died in 2008 of complications due to breast cancer. A star went out.