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Photo: Sally Tsoutas

Kate Fagan

Kate Fagan is a writer, musician and scholar whose third volume, First Light, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and the Age Book of the Year Award. She directs The Writing Zone, a mentoring program for emerging writers and arts workers from Western Sydney, and is a former Editor of How2 magazine (US). Kate is also an internationally esteemed songwriter whose album Diamond Wheel won the National Film and Sound Archive’s Folk Recording Award. She is currently Director of the WSU Writing and Society Research Centre and Chair of the Sydney Review of Books Advisory Board. Her most recent book is Song in the Grass (Giramondo, 2024).


Song in the Grass

Kate Fagan

96 pages
Paperback, 21 x 15 cm
Published June 2024
ISBN 9781923106048

The most personal collection yet from the prize-winning singer, songwriter and poet. In Song in the Grass, archival practices of all kinds offer touchstones, in which poetry becomes a way of sustaining love over distance, a collective music, and a compass for navigating in-common emergencies.

First Light

Kate Fagan

96 pages
Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm
Published March 2012
ISBN 9781920882808

First Light observes the details of the world with curious and restive attention. It explores the threshold between things and words, seeking out places where music and language are equal in charting human experience. Some poems sample from other writers to create new works, often as gifts for friends. Some meditate on the tipping point between poetry and prose, or revisit established forms, such as sonnets and love letters, to stage a conversation between poetry and song. Alongside these more experimental sequences is a series of discrete lyrics, ‘Authentic Nature’, which responds to specifically Australian habitats – political, cultural and ecological – while asking about the role of ‘nature’ in poetic writing. First Light is a book of sonic discovery, philosophical insight and formal playfulness; a precise study in the music of thought.