Kerry Greer is an award-winning poet and writer based in Western Australia. She received the Venie Holmgren Prize for Environmental Poetry in 2021. Kerry has been shortlisted for the ABR Calibre Essay Prize, the Stuart Hadow Short Story Prize, the Newcastle Poetry Prize, the ACU Poetry Prize, the W.B. Yeats Poetry Prize, the Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize, and more. As a widow and solo parent, Kerry has a particular interest in writing about grief and what comes after loss.
Kerry completed a B.A. in English Literature and French at the University of Western Australia in 2008. She is an MFA candidate in the low-residency program at Cedar Crest College. In recent months, Kerry received mentorship from Welsh poet laureate Gwyneth Lewis, and from Australian poet and academic Felicity Plunkett. She participated in a writing residency in Barcelona during June and July 2022.
Kerry's work been widely published in literary journals and anthologies, including Westerly, Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Poetry Journal, the Weekend Australian Review, Rabbit, the Grieve Anthology, and more. Her fiction is forthcoming in ACE III: Arresting Contemporary Stories by Emerging Writers (Recent Works Press).
Kerry is also an experienced proofreader. She trained as a legal proofreader in the Belfast office of Allen & Overy, and later worked as a freelance editor.
The Sea Chest is a visceral, moving, and emotionally layered account of life in the aftermath of loss. In 2017, Kerry Greer’s husband Gabriel ended his life with horrific violence, dying on the kitchen floor of his parents’ home.
Haunting in its honesty, and underpinned by a connection to the spirituality of the natural world, The Sea Chest traces the impact of Gabriel’s death over years and continents. The collection provides a counter-narrative to ideas of grief portrayed in sympathy cards or Hollywood movies. There is no redemptive narrative arc, no going “back to normal.” But there is the old love—the indissoluble thread that is now called grief.
Imagistic and probing, The Sea Chest speaks directly into the void. In the stillness, in the grey: a ripple, an answer from the ether, asking the reader to listen, to not turn away. The Sea Chest becomes a holding space for grief—for the things which cannot be said out loud, but which need to be voiced. This is poetry as invocation, poetry as love enacted, poetry as gateway to the liminal and the sacred.