Order of Australia award makes poet’s day

In the Queen�s Birthday Honours List, Professor Haskell has been awarded the honour for his services to literature, particularly poetry, as an academic, author, editor and critic, tertiary education and inter-cultural understanding.

Professor Haskell has held the role of Emeritus Professor of English and Cultural Studies at UWA, Professor of English, Communication and Cultural Studies, 1999-2011, co-editor of literary magazine Westerly, 1985-2009 and been appointed to the position of Chair of the Literature Board, and the Australia Council for the Arts, 2009-2011.

He has also held the position of Chair of the Academic Board, University of Western Australia and been a member of the International PEN Association.

Some of his most significant prizes include the AA Phillips Prize, Association for the Study of Australian Literature, 2011, for �a distinguished contribution to Australian literature�.

Professor Haskell�s new poetry edition Ahead Of Us, is due out in 2016. Published by Fremantle Press, the book�s poems highlight his and his wife�s journey through her ovarian cancer.

Now retired, Professor Haskell has tried to make meaning of the sadness of losing his wife Rhonda to cancer in 2011.

His wife was diagnosed with the disease in 2006 although her symptoms had been worrying her for some time.

Professor Haskell said he was dedicating the funds from his new poetry collection towards research for ovarian cancer.

Professor Haskell then made a pilgrimage north to Norway, to a place called Narvik, where the couple had spent time as young backpackers.

�It was a pilgrimage I felt I needed to make on my own and it was a strange experience and very testing,� Professor Haskell said.