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    Portrait of Suzanne Edgar taken at Adelaide Festival 1990, by Virginia Wallace-Crabbe, courtesy of National Library of Australia. Used with permission..


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Edgar, Suzanne (1939 - )

13 October 1939
Glenelg, Adelaide, South Australia
Author, Poet and Writer
Alternative Names
  • Godwin, Suzanne (maiden name)


Suzanne Edgar is a Canberra-based writer of fiction, feature articles, poetry and reviews.

(This entry is sponsored by generous donation from Christine Foley.)


Suzanne Edgar was born in 1939 in Glenelg, South Australia, and studied at Adelaide Teachers' College and the University of Adelaide. She moved to Canberra in 1963 with her husband Peter, a writer and historian (To Villers-Bretonneux, Australian Military History Publications, Syd, 2006). She has worked in adult education, and has taught Women's Studies at the Australian National University. For c.25 years she was the research editor, South Australian desk, at the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

She has published Counting Backwards and Other Stories (1991), many of these short stories being set in Adelaide and in Canberra, and the collection was short-listed for the Steele Rudd award in 1992. Edgar's poetry has been published in The Australian, The Canberra Times, The Adelaide Review, Quadrant, The Australian's Review of Books, and Eureka Street. She has twice won the C.J. Dennis Memorial Poetry Competition for Night Shift and Uriarra, while Chica and The Ring Maker have been short-listed for Canberra poetry awards. Her poems, 'The Loneliness of Salt' and 'Enid on the Sofa', were included in Les Murray ed., Best Australian Poems 2004 and 2005 respectively (Black Inc., Melb). Among her other poems in anthologies, her sonnet 'The Patriarch's House by the Sea' is in R. Walker and L Nicholas eds, Friendly Street Thirty, Wakefield Press, Adel, 2006; this sonnet was short-listed for the SATURA prize for the best poem in the book. Edgar has read at Friendly Street Poets, Adelaide. She often gives readings of her own and others' poetry in connection with art exhibitions, at the National Gallery of Australia and at the Art Gallery of South Australia. She also writes film and book reviews, criticism and features in literary and scholarly journals.

She was a member of Seven Writers - a group of seven Canberra-based writers whose work vividly portrayed life 'beneath the surface of Canberra' - and as part of this collective she contributed to Canberra Tales (1988), republished as The Division of Love in 1996, an anthology of short stories about life in Canberra. The work was funded with an ACT Bicentennial grant.

Edgar currently belongs to a professional poets' group [no name] comprised of two men and two women who meet monthly at The Mull and Fiddle, to discuss work in progress.

Her first collection of poetry, The Painted Lady, prepared with the help of a $10,000 grant from artsACT, is to be published in 2006 by Indigo Press, Canb. (eds Alan Gould and Geoff Page).

Edgar has contributed fifty-three biographical articles to the Australian Dictionary of Biography and one to The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate. She is also an interviewer for the National Library of Australia's Oral History Program.

Sources used to compile this entry: From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra, Australian Women's Archives Project, February 2013,; 'The right place for a little ham', The Advertiser, 17/7/91, p.10; 'The not at all secret seven', Sydney Morning Herald, 14/10/95, [page unavailable]; 'The real scribes of Canberra', Canberra Times, 31/1/97, p.16; 'Return of the seven', Canberra Times, 10/2/96, 11; Canberra Times, 31/1/97, p.16; 'And then there were five', Canberra Times, 21/11/98, 'Panorama' liftout. See also the ACT Writers Centre website [accessed 17 May 2006]: . NB: Suzanne Edgar holds a collection of files, compiled over many years, about Seven Writers. The files contain summaries (written by her) of their meetings, photographs and memorabilia.

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Digital resources

Portrait of Suzanne Edgar taken at Adelaide Festival 1990
Virginia Wallace-Crabbe
National Library of Australia. Used with permission.


Barbara Lemon

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