Gwendoline Nessie Harwood, (1920–95), poet. With James McAuley and Margaret Scott, Gwen Harwood is one of the three best-known figures in twentieth-century Tasmanian poetry. She moved to Tasmania with her academic husband in 1945 and felt acutely the exile from her native Brisbane. Harwood published six collections of verse, beginning with Poems in 1963, and also wrote poetry under various pseudonyms.
A highly intellectual poet, Harwood's writing is suffused with references to European cities, philosophy and music, and characterised by wit and a sharp satirical eye. One of her most attractive aspects, particularly for women, is her reined-in and unsentimental capturing of the frustrations and costs of women's lives, particularly in Australian suburbia. Peter Porter called her 'the most accomplished poet the country produced in the twentieth century'.