Sarah Day was born in England and grew up in Tasmania. The Ship (Brandl & Schlesinger, 2004) is her most recent collection of poems. It won the Judith Wright Calanthe Queensland Premier's Award [see comment below], the Judith Wright ACT Award for poetry 2005, and the University of Melbourne Wesley Michelle Wright Prize 2004.
In 2002 her New and Selected Poems was published by Arc in UK where it received a Recommendation from the Poetry Book Society; it was also 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.
She has received grants from the Literature Fund of the Australia Council and Arts Tasmania and was resident at the BR Whiting Library in Rome. She was invited to the Festival de Poesie in Paris in 2001 and has been a guest at Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart writers festivals and at the King's Lynn Poetry Festival in England.
Her poems have been put to music by British composer Anthony Gilbert in a choral work entitled Handles to the Invisible.
Sarah Day was poetry editor of Island magazine for seven years. She has taught English and Creative Writing for a number of years at university and pre-tertiary level and has been a member of the Literature Fund of the Australia Council. She lives in Hobart.
The judges of the 2005 Queensland Premier's Award (Judith Wright Calanthe Prize) commented:
This collection is outstanding for its author's poetic intelligence which alters focus continuously from the larger cosmic drama to the intimate world of family history, the death of neighbours and, even, the survival strategies of chickens. It is an integrative work, sensitive to luminous detail no matter where it is to be found, but sensitive also to processes, especially movement and especially leavings and arrivals. Day's work is large in its grasp of human complexity, and understatedly brilliant in its use of language and range of feeling. It is urgent and moving without the need for flamboyance.