Dr-Robyn-Rowland-AO

Dr Robyn Rowland AO​

Robyn grew up in Shellharbour, NSW. Widely travelled, she is an Irish-Australian citizen living in both Connemara and Australia. She regularly works in Turkey, where she also has an increasing presence.

Robyn has written 14 books, 11 of poetry over 45 years of publishing, all of which have been previously supported by the Irish Arts Council or the Literature Board in Australia. 

In 2015 came the ground-breaking history in poetry, her bi-lingual This Intimate War Gallipoli/Çanakkale 1915 – İçli Dışlı Bir Savaş: Gelibolu/Çanakkale 1915 (republished, Spinifex Press, Australia, 2018). Turkish translations Mehmet Ali Çelikel. 

Under This Saffron Sun (Knocknarone Press, Ireland) is also bi-lingual and travels through Turkey; focusing not on war, but on place, friendship, love and commonality.

Robyn’s poetry appears in national and international journals, and in over 40 anthologies, including Being Human, ed. Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2011) and 8 editions of Best Australian Poems (Black Inc.). She has read and taught in Ireland for 35 years and has been invited to read in India, Portugal, Ireland, the UK, the USA, Greece, Austria, Bosnia, Serbia, Turkey and Italy, where, along with Canada, Spain and Japan, she has also been published, sometimes in translation.

Robyn’s work has featured on…ABC’s PoeticA (Australia),the RTE Poetry Program and TG4 (Ireland).
She has been filmed reading for the National Irish Poetry Reading Archive, James Joyce Library, University College Dublin.

She has two CDs of poetry: Silver Leaving – Poems & Harp with Lynn Saoirse, and Off the Tongue.

Other accomplishments

Robyn is an experienced reader and public speaker.
Previous to 1996, when Robyn was diagnosed with breast cancer and left academic life, she was Professor Rowland, Head of the School of Social Inquiry and Director of the Australian Women’s Research Centre at Deakin University.
Robyn has edited and refereed for a multitude of international journals.
A well- known public critic of reproductive technology and genetic engineering for fifteen years, Robyn published Living Laboratories: Women and Reproductive Technology in 1992 (Pan MacMillan, Aust; Indiana University Press, USA; Limetree and Cedar, U.K.) In that capacity she addressed the House of Lords, Trinity College Dublin, the Quebec Government’s gathering on legislation in these areas, and various governments internationally and nationally used her work.
She delivered over 100 public addresses or conference papers and conducted interviews and debates on television, on radio and in the print media.
In the 1996 Honours List she was made an Officer in the Order of Australia by the Governor General on behalf of the Australian Government for her contribution to women’s health and higher education.
Honorary Fellow, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne 2008 -2012

Curator, Geelong Regional Libraries’ Poetry & Conversation series 2011 – 2013
Member, Australia Poetry Ltd, National Advisory Council 2010 – 2013

Deputy Chair, Board Australian Poetry Centre, 2007 – 2009

Board member Poetry Australia Foundation, 2004 -2006
Professor of Social Inquiry, Director Australian Women’s Research Centre, 1981-1996

Visit Robyn's Website

Featured Book

By Robyn Rowland

‘But I begin here in the body,’ I say
—hand sweeping up my trunk between breasts—
‘and the poem slides along my skin,
it moves up through the heart and out…’

The new book looks beyond the idea of ‘enemy’ towards friendship, love and commonality. Travelling through Turkey – Istanbul, Bursa, Kaş, Bozcaada Island, the poet experiences loving friendships emerging out of difference but with a common human thread. Significant poems emerge on Bozcaada, once Tenedos. A small Turkish island of wine growing and red poppies, its village life fits well with a poet who grew up in the small seaside town of Shellharbour in New South Wales Australia.

Robyn's 
Other Books

In these poems, history is lived in the intimate. Personal stories explore war, change, family and friendship – in Ireland, Turkey, the Balkans and Australia.They touch on Cork, the city from which the poet’s family emigrated to Australia and where an Armenian created Hadji Bey’s Turkish Delight; Sarajevo, flowering now…

This Intimate War Gallipoli/Çanakkale 1915 is republished in 2018 by Spinifex Press Australia ‘Very few collections bring home so powerfully the vulnerability of individuals in the face of history’ writes Lisa Gorton of Robyn Rowland’s powerful poems recording the experiences of soldiers, nurses and doctors, women munitions workers, wives, mothers,…

Line of Drift (Doire Press, 2015) This book has a grant from the Irish Arts Council. Robyn Rowland continues to paint her narrative-lyric poems, immersed in and emerging from, the physical and historical landscapes of West Ireland counterbalanced with those of Australia. Line of Drift (2015) 1 copy $20.00 AUD2…

(Five Islands Press, 2006) Fired by a yearning for communication, the poems in Silence and its tongues grow from experiences of loneliness,absent love, the silent world of depression and the complex issues after a mother’s death, into the peace of silent meditation and the strength of friendship. They comfort in…

These poems from almost forty years of publication show growth, from open simplicity to a rich, resonant maturity. Their hallmark is deep honesty and emotional accessibility. To read reviews of this book, please click here.

Line of Drift (Doire Press, 2015) This book has a grant from the Irish Arts Council. Robyn Rowland continues to paint her narrative-lyric poems, immersed in and emerging from, the physical and historical landscapes of West Ireland counterbalanced with those of Australia. Line of Drift (2015) 1 copy $20.00 AUD2…

‘Poems move between Ireland and Victoria, between the twin towers and the love of a priest, between selkies and grandfathers with great assurance and insight. There is something European or perhaps Irish in her poetic consciousness: she handles passion and laughter, politics and loss with equal confidence. Her work is…

Robyn’s third book has six sections: ‘Life in the flesh’, ‘Tangled there’, ‘Time-travelling’, ‘Bevelled edges’, ‘Peopled place’, ‘The Great Way is not difficult.. ’ (Five Islands Press, 2001) Themes are political, love with a younger man, traveling, spiritual awakening, and breast cancer. Publisher Ron Pretty wrote: ‘ Rowland’s skill as…

Line of Drift (Doire Press, 2015) This book has a grant from the Irish Arts Council. Robyn Rowland continues to paint her narrative-lyric poems, immersed in and emerging from, the physical and historical landscapes of West Ireland counterbalanced with those of Australia. Line of Drift (2015) 1 copy $20.00 AUD2…