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

Awards for her books include the Judith Wright Calanthe Queensland Premier’s, the Judith Wright ACT, the University of Melbourne Wesley Michelle Wright Prize and the Anne Elder Award. In 2002 her New and Selected Poems was published by Arc in UK. It was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Awards and received a UK Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Sarah has been resident at the BR Whiting Library in Rome, has read at writers’ festivals around Australia and been a guest at the Festival de Poesie in Paris in 2001 and 2006, at King’s Lynn in England 2002 and 2017, and University of Lisbon 2011. Sarah’s poems have been set to music by British composer Anthony Gilbert. Sarah was poetry editor of Island Magazine for seven years, teaches English and Creative Writing and has been a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council. In 2017, her story In the Dark won the Alan Marshall Short Story Competition.

See Austlit website

Published work includes:

Slack Tide (Pitt Street Poetry 2022) is her most recent collection.

Towards Light (Puncher & Wattmann 2018). Shortlisted for the Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Tempo (Puncher & Wattmann 2013). 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: NMCD105.

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: NMCD068.

… 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 NMCD105.


Poems 2009. Performed by baritone Michael Lampard


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


Magnification x, 2004