Susan Hampton, a freelance editor, teacher, and writer, was born in Inverell, New South Wales, Australia. She attended New Castle Teacher’s College, the University of Newcastle, Macquarie University, and the University of Sydney. She writes short stories and poetry, and her collections include Costumes (1981), which contains poems and short stories; the verse novella White Dog Sonnets: A Novel (1987); the prose and poetry book Surly Girls (1989); A Latin Primer (1998); The Kindly Ones (2005), winner of the Judith Wright Calanthe Award; and News of the Insect World: And Other Poems (2009).
Hampton’s work combines classical references, literary allusions, and contemporary culture, often exhibiting a political awareness and feminist sensibility. In The Kindly Ones, the mythical Furies surface in contemporary Australia and are confronted with the realities of current events and women’s lives. Though News of the Insect World focuses on insects, Emily Bitto in TEXT noted that “the concerns and questions here are very much human ones: how best to live one’s life; how to come to terms with transience and mortality; whether transcendence is possible.”
Hampton co-edited the Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets (1986) with Kate Llewellyn, a collection that was instrumental in bringing recognition to contemporary and established women writers of Australia.