Sandra Renew has published internationally and nationally in journals including Eureka StreetRight NowBurley, Hecate (University of Queensland), Axon: Creative Explorations (University of Canberra), Meniscus (University of Canberra), Australian Poetry Journal, Backstory, and Other Terrain (Swinburne University).

Sandra is the winner of the ACT Writers Notable Awards for Poetry 2021 for her collection It’s the sugar, Sugar (Recent Work Press, 2021).

She was also the winner of the 2020 ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Poetry for her collection, Acting Like a Girl (also shortlisted for the 2020 ACT Book of the Year). Published in 2019 by Recent Work PressActing Like a Girl reflects on gender, sexuality and coming out in the Far North Queensland of the 70s and 80s.

Sandra was the judge of the ACT Writer’s Centre June Shenfield Award in 2021 and 2022.

On the radio at ArtSound FM

Interviews and readings recorded in late 2022 and January 2023. These recordings are part of ArtSound FM’s Poetry on the Radio project, which features a wide range of Canberra poets.

To hear Sandra go to Poetry on the Radio and scroll to:

  • Weekly half-hour poets: POTR 007, 006 and 005
  • Arts Cafe segments: POTR 2-17 and POTR 19


Forthcoming: Apostles of Anarchy (Recent Work Press, 2023)

  • V8  with PS Cottier (Ginninnderra Press, 2022)
  • The Ruby Red’s Affair (Ginninnderra Press, 2022)
  • It’s the sugar, Sugar (Recent Work Press, 2021)
  • Acting Like a Girl  (Recent Work Press, 2019), winner of the 2020 ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Poetry.
  • The Orlando Files (Ginninderra Press, 2018)
  • Who sleeps at night … (Ginninderra Press, 2017)
  • One Last Border: Poems for refugees edited by Hazel Hall Moya Pacey and Sandra Renew (Ginninderra Press, 2015)
  • Flood, Fire and Drought edited by Suzanne Edgar, Kathleen Kituai, Sandra Renew and Hazel Hall (Ginninderra Press, 2015). This anthology explores the effect of weather events on the Australian landscape showcasing the work of twenty-nine Australian poets with a foreword by Dr Richard Denniss.
  • Projected on the Wall (Ginninderra Press, Pocket Poets series, 2015)
  • This is why a chap book of poems of protest (2015)
  • Inventing Siberia poems by Sandra Renew (2014)
  • Triage, a chapbook of poems on Afghanistan in collaboration with artist Karen Bailey, School Of Music Poets (2014).


Winner of the ACT Writers Notable Awards for Poetry 2021 for her collection It’s the sugar, Sugar (Recent Work Press, 2021).

Winner of the 2020 ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Poetry for her collection, Acting Like a Girl, which was also shortlisted for the 2020 ACT Book of the Year.

With Moya Pacey, Sandra co-edited eight issues of the online women’s poetry journal, Not Very Quiet, between 2017 and 2022.  Not Very Quiet: the anthology (2022) was published by and can be ordered from Recent Work Press.

Not Very Quiet’s founding editors, Moya Pacey and Sandra Renew, received an award in 2019 from the Canberra Critics’ Circle: ‘for their influential work in exposing Canberra women’s poetry to view through their biannual online journal for women’s poetry, Not Very Quiet.’.

Sandra has received other awards, including:

  • ‘lesbian content’, finalist 2018 joanne burns Microlit Award
  • ‘Mungo’, second prize, University of Canberra Health Prize, September 2016
  • ‘Hiding’ in response to artwork Window on the World, (Highly Commended, Nillumbik Ekphrasis Poetry Award 2015)
  • ‘Shiver’ (shortlisted Michael Thwaites Poetry Award 2011, ACT Write, the magazine of the ACT Writers Centre, Vol. 18, No. 7, 2012, p. 16).

She was a featured poet, performing at the National Folk Festival Canberra in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. And will perform at the Cobargo Folk Festival in 2023.

Journals and Anthologies

Sandra’s poems have been published nationally and internationally in journals and anthologies including: Griffith Review, The Canberra Times, Hecate, Axon, Meniscus, Australian Poetry Journal, Backstory, Other Terrain, RabbitAnthology of Australian Prose Poetry, Ribbons, Contemporary Haibun Online, Atlas Poetica, Eureka Street, I Protest: poems of dissent, Messages from the Embers Anthology, 25 Death Poems (Atlas Poetica), Turn the Other Cheek: non-violent resistance and peaceful protest tanka (Atlas Poetica), Skylark Tanka Journal, BurleyRight Now: human rights in Australia, Verity La, and Westerly.

Creative essays

Sandra has published three creative essays in the University of Canberra’s Axon journal:

  • ‘When our world breaks, we bend with it’ (Axon: Creative Explorations, 11/2: On the Mend, December 2021
  • ‘Master’s tools, Master’s house: All the old crimes’ (Axon: Creative Explorations, 10/2: Manifestos, diatribes and interventions, December 2020)
  • ‘On Returning Home’ (Axon: Creative Explorations, 8/2: Turning Points: Narratives, health, and speaking the self, November 2018)


Sandra’s translations are included in:


Sandra’s ongoing project is the interrogation of gender presentation and the LGBTIQAA gender discourses. Her poetry comments on contemporary issues and questions: war, language, environment, climate and the planet’s health, translation, dislocation, migration, terrorism, border crossings, dissent, gender, protest, human rights, freedoms, and is informed by many years working in war zones, in Indigenous communities and on the fringes of heterosexuality.

She is also inspired by the antics of the former Acting Deputy Assistant Interim Project Manager Creative Options (Pilot), Honorary Dr Hue Poodle (Order of Companion Poodles), Department of In-Home Entertainment Planning whose blog, Hue Poodle Press briefings, lightened the dark days of the pandemic in 2020.

Performance images taken at Smith’s Alternative by Jacqui Malins.