Ryan, Gig 1956–

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Ryan, Gig 1956–

(Gig Elizabeth Ryan)

PERSONAL: Born November 5, 1956, in Leicester, England. Education: Attended LaTrobe University, 1974, and University of Sydney, 1983–87; University of Melbourne, graduated, 1993.

ADDRESSES: Home—1189 Burke Rd., Kew, Melbourne 3101, Australia.

CAREER: Poet, songwriter, and musician. Affiliated with the music groups Disband and Driving Past.

AWARDS, HONORS: Grants from Australia Council Literature Board, 1979, 1982, 1987; Anne Elder Award (with others), 1982; C.J. Dennis Poetry Prize, premier of Victoria, Australia, 1999.



The Division of Anger, Transit Press (Sydney, Australia), 1981.

Manners of an Astronaut, Hale & Iremonger (Sydney, Australia), 1984.

The Last Interior, Scripsi (Melbourne, Australia), 1986.

Excavation, Picador (Sydney, Australia), 1990.

Pure and Applied, Paper Bark Press (Brooklyn, New South Wales, Australia), 1998.

Heroic Money, Brandl & Schlesinger (Rose Bay, New South Wales, Australia), 2001.


(With Disband) Six Goodbyes, Big Home Productions, 1988.

(With Driving Past) Real Estate, 1999.

(With Driving Past) Travel, 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: According to Judith Rodriguez in Contemporary Poets, Gig Ryan's poetry betrays her "preoccupation with people moving among drugs, disgust, venality and a jeering despair." Ryan's poems, Rodriguez observed, present a "realism under fluorescent light that favors the explicit argot of urban disillusionment. The realism is trenchant and unrelenting enough at times to get in the way of an appreciation of Ryan's brilliant ways of unsettling the reader, her constantly resourceful subjective notation, her montage technique, her deliberate banality and bad taste and pasted-on similes, her occasional sentimentality, and, finally, her ability to be very funny."

"No one" Rodriguez concluded, "writes like Ryan. Her hand is immediately recognizable within a few lines. She is one of the ablest younger 'established' poets in Australia, though the question stands as to a perceived sameness in her work. Her development, particularly if she continues to broaden the interests she deals with, will be interesting to watch."



Contemporary Poets, 6th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.


Jacket Magazine Online, http://jacketmagazine.com/ (November 22, 2005), Lisa Gorton, review of Heroic Money.