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Gwen Harwood, one of the most celebrated voices in Australian poetry, was born in 1920 in Brisbane, where she trained as a pianist and organist. After her marriage in 1945 she moved to Hobart, where she lived until her death in December 1995. Her first volume, Poems, was published in 1963; Poems Volume II in 1968; The Lion's Bride in 1981; the award-winning Bone Scan in 1998; and The Present Tense in 1995. Her numerous awards included the Grace Leven prize, the Robert Frost award, the Patrick White award, two Premier's awards and the Cholmondeley prize. She became an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1989, and was awarded several honorary doctorates.

Gwen Harwood was Australia's most distinguished librettist, best know for her collaboration over many years with Larry Sitsky.