Cassandra Atherton Ophelia

Photographer: Donna Squire

Cassandra Atherton is an Australian prose-poet, critic and scholar. She is an international expert on prose poetry and poets as public intellectuals, especially hibakusha poets. Cassandra was a Visiting Scholar in English at Harvard University sponsored by Professor Stephen Greenblatt and a presenter at the Harvard public intellectual conferences chaired by Professor Larry Friedman. She was a Visiting Fellow in the Institute of Comparative Culture at Sophia University, Tokyo and is an affiliate of the Monash Japanese Studies Centre.

Cassandra has published over twenty critical and creative books and has been invited to edit ten special editions of leading refereed journals. She is one of the longest-standing poetry editors of Westerly Magazine and is series editor of the Spineless Wonders microlit anthologies.

Cassandra’s prose poetry has been widely anthologized both nationally and internationally in publications such as Best Australian Poems (Black Inc.) and Strange Cargo: Five Australian Poets (Smith|Doorstop, UK). Her prose poems have been translated into Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Cassandra has been awarded many literary prizes including the University of California Mary Schroeder award and is the recipient of national and international research grants and teaching awards including a VicArts grant and an Australian Council Grant for her work on atomic bomb poetry.

Cassandra has judged the Australian Book Review Elizabeth Jolley Award, The Lord Mayor’s Poetry Prize and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Prize for Poetry, convening the award in 2016. She is judge of the annual joanne burns award and is part of the editorial committee for Westerly Magazine, Axon: Creative Explorations and Writers in Conversation and is a member of the International Poetry Studies Institute’s, Prose Poetry Project.  She was member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Australian Book Review (2012 – 2016).

Cassandra is also a sought after interviewer after her widely publicized interviews with American intellectuals such as Harold Bloom, Noam Chomsky, Stephen Greenblatt, Camille Paglia, Todd Gitlin and Howard Zinn. She has held lectureships at The University of Melbourne, The University of Western Sydney and Deakin University, lecturing in Australian poetry, Literary Classics, Popular Culture, Romanticism and Creative Writing.

She is an associate professor at Deakin University in Literary Studies and Creative Writing where she recently received the Faculty Research award for Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for University Teacher of the Year.

Cassandra married American historian, Glenn Moore, in Boston, MA. They live in Melbourne with their ragdoll cats, Bellamy and Tallulah and dream of a brownstone in Back Bay with clam chowder on tap. Cassandra is a balletomane who adores spangled ball gowns, Japanese cherry blossoms, Long Island Iced Teas at Half Time Bar in Narita and Margaritas at The Lenox Hotel in Boston.