Sandra Renew

As poets we have special relationships with words. When I write I rely on finding the words to create an imaginative truth. And I want this imaginative truth to say something political. In this post-truth world our words have a new power and obligation. Now is not the time for shy words. Now we want to be Not Very Quiet …

I want my poetry to say something about the state of our world, a situation and condition we are bringing on ourselves. So my work is social critique and revolves around dissent, contradiction, dissonance; and I write about gender, violence, war, refugees and asylum, environment and climate change.

One of my favourite texts is Orlando by Virginia Woolf and it is full of the poetry of gender, the fluidity of femininities and masculinities.


Sandra at a performance evening.Sandra’s poetry has recently been published in Griffith Review (Griffith University), The Blue Nib, The Canberra Times, Contemporary Haibun Online, Ribbons, Hecate (University of Queensland), Other Terrain and Backstory (Swinburne University), Axon (University of Canberra), and Australian Poetry Journal 2019.  Her poem ‘Mungo’ was awarded second place in the University of Canberra Health Poetry Prize in 2017.

Sandra also writes short form prose and has been published in Shuffle: An Anthology of Microlit, edited by Cassandra Atherton (Spineless Wonders 2019), and was a finalist for the 2018 joanne burns Microlit Award.

She was a featured poet at the National Folk Festival Spoken Word for three years from 2017 to 2019.

Her recent collections are Acting Like a Girl (Recent Work Press 2019) and The Orlando Files (Ginninderra Press 2018).

Sandra is a founding editor, with Moya Pacey, of Not Very Quiet online journal for women and poetry and co-hosts the Not Very Quiet women’s poetry nights at Smith’s Alternative. Sandra and Moya were awarded a Canberra Critics Circle Award for their influential contribution to women’s poetry in 2019.

Read her poetry and find out more about her events at