J.S. Harry was born in 1939 in South Australia, and has lived in Sydney for most of her life. She has worked as an editor for Radio National and has held a residency at Australian National University. She has published eight collections of poetry, including the deer under the skin (1971), Hold, for a little while, and turn gently (1979), A Dandelion for Van Gogh (1985), The Life on Water and the Life Beneath (1995), Selected Poems (1995), winner of the NSW Premier's Award for Poetry, Sun Shadow, Moon Shadow (2000), If - And the Movable Ground (2004), and her complete collection of Peter Henry Lepus rabbit poems, Not Finding Wittgenstein (Giramondo, Australia, 2007; Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2012).
'The further Harry seems from taking horror and extremity seriously, the more the poem insists that, while language can never intercept an incoming missile, it can light up a moral scene as nothing else can - For me she is the most arresting poet working in Australia today' - Peter Porter. 'Written in a plain and direct language, the poems take their strength from an extraordinary complexity of tone - For all their involvement in the contemporary world, the poems keep this sense of folktales and children's books. Peter Henry Lepus maintains a generous curiosity. Even in war zones, he treats impossible, terrible and prosaic occurrences with the same unassuming interest. The sharp satirical work of the poems depends upon this gentle questioning, this practical innocence. At the end of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophical, Wittgenstein warns: "My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognises them as nonsensical." J.S. Harry's poems about Peter Henry Lepus work with that kind of suspension between teasing intimacy and absolute seriousness' - Lisa Gorton, The Age