Gail Hennessy was educated at Our Lady of Mercy College Cronulla and graduated from the University of Sydney with a BA degree in 1959. From 1960 to 1988 she lived and worked in Canberra with her husband and five children. During the 1970s and 1980s her poetry was widely published in regional and national newspapers and literary journals. She was an active member of the Canberra branch of the Society of Women Writers.
In 1988 she moved to Newcastle. During the 1990s she committed herself to academic work in the field of Australian/Aboriginal studies, graduating in 1999 from the University of Newcastle with a Masters degree by research into the autobiographies of Aboriginal women. This work led to her successful PhD thesis of 2004, ‘Testimonio: Witnessing my Mother’s Life in Twentieth Century Australia’. After completing her thesis Hennessy returned to poetry and has been successful in a number of competitions and anthologies. In 2009 she produced a collection of old and new works under the title Witnessing which derived from her PhD work. (Biography provided by author to the National Library of Australia.)
Hennessey’s Written on Water (Flying Island Books) was published in 2017. The M Word (Girls on Key) was published in 2018 . It is a memoir about postnatal psychosis, and addresses the stigma around mental illness.
Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications
Written on Water
In National Library of Australia