Rachael Mead is a poet, short story writer, arts reviewer and bookseller living in South Australia. She’s had an eclectic life, working as an archaeologist, environmental campaigner, wedding decorator and seller of books both old and new. She has an Honours degree in Classical Archaeology, a Masters in Environmental Studies and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide.

She is the author of three collections of poetry: The Sixth Creek (Picaro Press 2013) and the chapbooks Sliding Down the Belly of the World (Wakefield Press 2012) and The Quiet Blue World (Garron Publishing 2015). Her second full-length collection The Flaw in the Pattern is forthcoming from UWAP in 2018.

She was shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize in 2017 and 2013 and the Dermot Healy International Poetry Prize in 2016. She was longlisted in for the University of Canberra VC’s International Poetry Prize in 2017 and 2015.

The manuscript that would eventually become The Flaw in the Pattern was awarded Varuna’s Dorothy Hewett Fellowship for Poetry in 2015 and was shortlisted in both the 2016 Adelaide Festival Literature Awards and UWA Publishing’s Dorothy Hewett Award 2016.

The Sixth Creek won Varuna’s Dorothy Hewett Flagship Fellowship for Poetry in 2011, a Varuna Publisher Fellowship with Picaro Press in 2012 and was shortlisted for the Adelaide Festival Literature Awards Unpublished Manuscript Prize in 2012.

Rachael has published widely in Australia and internationally. Her work has featured on ABC Radio National’s Poetica program and her poem Kati Thanda / Lake Eyre was used by composer Stephen Leek as the basis for a choral composition that had its world premiere in 2015 at St Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide. She’s been published in Best Australian Poems 2015, Meanjin, Westerly, Cordite, Southerly and Australian Poetry Journal.

She has won several awards in including the Grieve Poetry Prize 2017, the Mindshare Poetry Award for Established Poets 2015, the Tabor Adelaide Poetry Prize 2014, the Page Seventeen Poetry Prize 2014, an Australian Literature Review short story prize in 2013, the 2012 John Bray Roman Poetry Award and the University of Adelaide’s Bundey Prize for English Verse in 2010.

When not in rehab for her addictions to op-shopping and books Rachael lives in the Adelaide Hills with her husband, animals and a slightly ridiculous collection of op-shop overcoats.  In 2017, she’s tackling her book addiction head-on by vowing to not buy a single book for the entire year.  It’s even money as to whether or not she’ll make it, but if you want to check on her progress/madness she’s blogging her pain at




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