Guide to the Papers of Jennifer Strauss [MSS 036]

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Manuscript Name Papers of Jennifer Strauss
Manuscript Number MSS 036
Last Updated October 2021
Extent 6 boxes
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Literary papers, including drafts of poetry, criticism, working papers. Also includes correspondence, press clippings.

Collection Subject Type


Scope and Content

A collection of literary papers of Jennifer Strauss. While some of the material dates as early as 1967 or as late as 2000, the majority of the material is from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. The collection consists of drafts and working papers for both Strauss’s poetic work and her academic study of Australian literature. This includes material relating to Boundary Conditions: The Poetry of Gwen Harwood (1992), several of her poetry anthologies, reviews and criticism. There are also collections of correspondence, some relating to publications.

Date Range of Content


Biographical Note

Wikipedia article:

Jennifer Strauss is an Australian poet, critic, and academic. She graduated from the University of Melbourne with honours in 1954, before attending the University of Glasgow for postgraduate study. She taught at the University of New England and the University of Melbourne, before joining Monash University in 1964. She taught there from 1964 - 1998, completing a PhD in 1991 and eventually becoming an Associate Professor.

As an academic, she has published a number of critical works, including Boundary Conditions: The Poetry of Gwen Harwood (1992) and Judith Wright (1995), as well as edited The Oxford Literary History of Australia (with Bruce Bennett, 1999), Family Ties: Australian Poems of the Family (1998) and the poetry of Mary Gilmore, published as The Collected Verse of Mary Gilmore: Volume 1, 1887-1929 (2005).

She has published several collections of her own poetry since her first publication credit (as an undergraduate) in Melbourne University Magazine in 1954. These include Children and Other Strangers (1975), Winter Driving: Poems (1981), Labour Ward (1988), Tierra del Fuego (1997). She won the Christopher Breannan Award in 2009 for lifetime achievement in poetry.

Strauss has also focused on social issues throughout her career, being on the Staff Association of Monash University, the National Federation of University Staff Associations, and the Monash University Council. She was twice president of the Australian Federation of University Women (now Australian Federation of Graduate Women) Victoria and twice the national president.

As a result of her service in education, literature and workers’ rights, she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007.


Author record, Jennifer Strauss, AustLit (, St Lucia: The University of Queensland, 2002-. [Retrieved from, 24/01/2019]


Administrative Information

Access and Copying Conditions

Access: Open Access

This collection contains a variety of copyright material. Copyright is held by the creator of each item. Specific conditions for this collection are listed below. If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only, and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright. Refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy. 

Copying: Copying of material authored by Jennifer Strauss for private study and research is approved.


Preferred Citation

Papers of Jennifer Strauss, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, MSS 036, Box [Number], Folder [Number].



The collection was acquired from Jennifer Strauss in two consignments, 1994 and 2001.


Subject Keywords


Australian academics, Australian poets, 20th century poetry

Personal Names

Jennifer Strauss 1933-

Jennifer Wallace


Writer, poet, academic, editor


Container List

Box 1

Folder 1 
Drafts/Working papers - Boundary Conditions: The Poetry of Gwen Harwood, typed with pen annotations, 1992

Folder 2 
Drafts/Working papers - Boundary Conditions: The Poetry of Gwen Harwood, typed with pen annotations, 1992

Folder 3 
Drafts/Working papers - Boundary Conditions: The Poetry of Gwen Harwood, typed with pen annotations, 1992

Folder 4 
Drafts/Working papers - Boundary Conditions: The Poetry of Gwen Harwood, typed with pen annotations, 1992

Folder 5 
Drafts - Winter Driving, 1981
Typed poetry: ‘At Bridgewater’; ‘Highway One’; ‘Accident and Aftermath’; ‘Past-Master’; ‘Secretive’; ‘Every Poet is Entitled to One Poem About Poetry And This is it’; ‘Schloss Favorit, Summer House of the Duchess of Baden: The Mirror Room’; ‘This Woman’; ‘Migrant Woman On a Melbourne Tram’; ‘For Chris’; ‘The Theorists’; ‘A Bienvenue’; ‘Life 201: Essay, After the Seminar’; ‘Thirteen’; ‘Erotic Dialogue’; ‘Knowing Our ABC of Smothering Cities’.

Folder 6 
Drafts - Winter Driving
Typed and handwritten: ‘Solstice’; ‘Winter Driving’; ‘Models’; ‘Bluebeard Re-scripted’; ‘Bluebeard Re-scripted Version II: The Lady’s a Romantic’; ‘Pittsburg Tunnels’; ‘Stone, Scissors, Paper’; ‘Traffic’; ‘North Wind At Midnight’; ‘For Joke Franzen (1941-79).

Folder 7 
Drafts - Labour Ward, 1988
Writing progress typed, some handwritten with pen annotations.

Folder 8
Drafts - Labour Ward, 1988
Writing progress typed, some handwritten with pen annotations.


Box 2

Folder 9 
Drafts - Labour Ward, 1988
Writing progress typed, some handwritten with pen annotations
Also includes miscellaneous newspaper clippings.

Folder 10
Publication correspondence: 1977, 1979-80, 1982-86, 1989-1994

Folder 11
Publication correspondence: 1977-79, 19981, 1983-87, 1989-92

Folder 12
Sue Jeffrey: Poet’s Catalogue. 1977, 1979.
Poetry drafts - Children and Other Strangers, 1981
Correspondence 1973, 1976, 1980

Folder 13
Drafts - Children and Other Strangers, 1981
Typed, some handwritten with pen annotations.

Folder 14
Reviews file
Newspaper clippings, 1986, 1988-91
Typed reviews, 1985, 1987-88
Correspondence, 1990.

Folder 15 
Reviews file, continued
Newspaper clippings, 1986, 1988-89
Typed reviews, 1978-79, 1982, 1985-6
Correspondence, 1979
Magazine, Fremantle Arts Review, 1987.

Folder 16
Newspaper clippings - miscellaneous.
Journals: Scottish Literary Journal; Southern Review; Trema 6.


Box 3

Folder 17
Monograph in series: Women Silenced, Women Silent, Women Speaking: Discovering a Theme of One’s Own, 1989
Poetry Readin,1970
Journal: Idiom, October 1973
Magazine: Major Minorities: English Literatures in Transit
1971 and 1973

Folder 18
Clayton Arts Council: Festival for Winter Nights and Arts Festival 71
Newsletter: Afram Newsletter, 1979
Poetry Reading, 1973
Monash University: Women and Art: Into the Eighties, Women and Writing: Into the  Eighties, 1980
Journal Komos, 1969


Box 4

Folder 19
Poems and short stories – published and in draft form, 1967-1974

Folder 20
Drafts/working papers and articles, 1970s

The Axe For the Frozen Sea Within Us, 1975;
Grace Enacted: the Secunda Pastorum, 1976;
To Speak Once More of Cresseid: Henryson’s Testament Re-considered, 1977;
An Annotated Bibliography of Contemporary Women Poets of Australia, 1978

Folder 21
Drafts/ working papers and articles, 1980s

Thomas Middleton and the Ambiguous Dance of the Jacobean Theatre: an Analysis of the complex effect of the Motif of the Dance in Act III, Scene II of Women Beware Women, 1981;
Portable Property or Damaged Goods? The Identity of Self and the Identity of Things in ‘Great Expectations’, 1985;
Things are Getting Better all the Time, 1986;
Being There, Being Here : A Comparison of Margaret Atwood’s ‘Bodily Harm’ and Blanche d’Alpuget’s ‘Turtle Beach’, 1986;
Anthologies and Orthodoxies, 1987, Voice and Form in Cross-Cultural Fiction: Margaret Atwood’s ‘Bodily Harm’ and Blanche d’ Alpuget’s ‘Turtle Beach’, 1987

Folder 22
Drafts/ working papers and articles 1990s

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman: Cultural Contexts and the Quest for Identity in Alice Munro’s ‘Lives of Girls and Women’ and in Miles Franklin’s ‘My Brilliant Career’ and ‘My Career Goes Bung’, 1991;
She/I/You/It: Constructing Mothers and Motherhood in the Writing of Gwen Harwood, 1992;
A Lifetime Devoted to Literature, 1992;
Gwen Harwood: Playing in Time, 1994;
A Ride with Love and Death: Writing the Legend of a Glittering Girl, 1995;
Dorothy Green Memorial Lecture – ASAL: Conference – In Praise of Serious Women, 1997

Folder 23
Drafts/working papers and articles, undated

Australia After All? Mary Gilmore’s re-location of the Visionary Just Community;
Eros in the Antipodes: Exploratory Studies in the Mythologies of Love in Australian Poetry;
Modulations of High Seriousness: the Later Poetry of Judith Wright;
Writing an Australian Literary History in a decade of –isms;
Seriousness and wit in Contemporary Australian Poetry;
Till the Tree Dreams It Has a Voice: Speaking of and for the Tree in Australian Poetry;
Vision That keeps the Night and Saves the Day: Whose is the Task Defined in ‘An Epistle from Holofernes’?

Folder 24
Reviews of books, 1994-1998
Published in The Age and the literary magazine Island

Folder 25-26
Poetic Identities: An experiment, 1978
Monash University study by Jennifer Strauss. Students were given unattributed poems by male and female authors and asked to guess the sex of the author.

Folder 27
Conference paper for the ANZAMRS Conference, Auckland, 1984
‘Grace Enacted the Secunda Pastorum’

AMZAMRS is the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.


Box 5

Folder 28
Viewpoints 87 – articles on poetry written as part of the VCE. English Language Course

Folder 29
Contemporary Poets entries
Essay entries contributed by Jennifer Strauss to various editions, 1984 - 1997

Essays on Michael Dransfield, John Forbes, Gwen Harwood, Philip Salom, Thomas Shapcott,, John A. Scott, Fay Zwicky.

Folder 30
Correspondence with University of Queensland press

Folder 31
Correspondence with Cambridge University Press

Related to Cambridge Guide To Women Writing in English

Folder 32
Draft - Tierra del Fuego: New and Selected Poems
Published 1997.

Folder 33
Drafts and correspondence relating to Family Ties: Australian Poems of the Family. 1995 - 1997

Folder 34
Drafts - Routledge Encyclopedia

Folder 35
Drafts and correspondence relating to Judith Wright
Published 1995.


Box 6

Folder 36
Drafts and correspondence relating to Oxford Literary History of Australia
Published 1999.

Folder 37
Correspondence, 1969 - 1989

Folder 38
Correspondence, 1990 - 1991

Folder 39
Correspondence, 1992 - 1994

Folder 40
Correspondence, 1995

Folder 41
Correspondence, 1996

Folder 42
Correspondence, 1997 - 2000