Cassandra Atherton is an Australian scholar, critic and prose poet. She is an international expert on prose poetry and ekphrastic poetry. She also coined the term ‘dark poetry’ for poetry that attempts to imagine, explore or reanimate a dark event.
Cassandra was a Visiting Scholar in English at Harvard University sponsored by Professor Stephen Greenblatt, a presenter at the Harvard public intellectual conferences chaired by Professor Larry Friedman and a Visiting Scholar at Emerson College. Cassandra also works in the field of atomic bomb literature, specifically hibakusha poetry, and 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 more than thirty critical and creative books and has been invited to edit 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 has her own imprint, Farflung Editions at the US publisher, MadHat Press and is the co-host of the international zoom event, LitBalm: An Interactive Livestream Reading Series.
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 New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing 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 Western Sydney University and Deakin University, lecturing in Australian poetry, Literary Classics, Popular Culture, Romanticism and Creative Writing.
She is Professor of Writing and Literature at Deakin University where she received the Faculty Research award for Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for University Teacher of the Year.
Cassandra is a balletomane who loves drinking Highballs at Darihan in Sendagaya. She married American historian, Glenn Moore, in Boston, MA. They currently live in Melbourne with their ragdoll cats, Bellamy and Tallulah.