Colleen Keating / Olive Muriel Pink: Her radical and idealistic life: A poetic journey



‘With a meticulously researched, absorbing verse narrative, Colleen Keating brings Olive Muriel Pink’s significant, neglected history to life with distinctive, beautiful imagery. In powerful lyrical stanzas, she tells the story of Olive’s struggle for recognition as a female anthropologist, her lifelong work for the rights of the Warlpiri and Arrernte people she loved and lived among, and the creation of her arid garden. “High on a camel swaying to and fro / with a straight back and a broad smile / Olive rides into her future.” Olive’s persistence, her triumphs and her passion for justice make for uplifting and compelling reading.’ – Pip Griffin

‘Olive Pink is one of Australia’s unsung heroines. In this original and deeply moving biographical verse novel, Colleen Keating enables Olive Pink’s experiences with Aboriginal people in Central Australia to emerge with sensitivity, intellectual curiosity, understanding and grace. It is a triumph for reconciliation and will surely enter the annals of Australian literature.‘ – Lyndall Ryan

‘A play, a dance, books, a proposed film, an opera and now a wonderful narrative poem by Colleen Keating. I wonder what Miss Pink would think about all this attention – her battles and passions appreciated at last!’ – Gillian Ward

‘Olive Pink’s life floats off the page – very much the character I’ve come to know and admire while translating her experience into music across this past decade. Colleen Keating gives us a seriously beautiful work based on research that brings Olive vividly to life. It is wonderful to see the astonishing story of this Australian woman Olive Pink, given the attention she so deserves. Such a visionary.’ – Anne Boyd

‘An invaluable and powerful addition to the story of Australian women who lived their lives working for equality and social justice. A joy to read.’ – Elizabeth Keating-Jones
978 1 76109 158 2, 320pp


When we listen, this land sings to us, holds us, nurtures us. This land is the common ground that we share. This small blue planet is the common world of our existence. Desert Patterns is a collection of poetry that touches the membrane between two worlds with the breath of wildness and our inland journeys. In its striking imagery, we have a revelation of the significance of the land and of the burden of our Australian history.

‘Colleen’s poetic journey invokes the deep spirituality of our landscape. She immerses us in “a multitude of gorgeous images” as we stand in Tunnel Creek remembering Jandamarra, marvel with Monet at Kakadu’s “blazing-blue lilies” and dream with cicadas: “is it a place the gods keep/to seduce the lost like me?” Every step of the way, Desert Patterns will entrance you.’ – Pip Griffin
‘Colleen Keating in her distinctive Australian voice combines sensitivity to place with clear, powerful free verse. Her images are both striking and profound. Again as in her previous collections, her poetry is underpinned by a gentle spirituality from a woman’s perspective. – John Egan
‘Take time to enter the world of this poetic landscape. Colleen Keating invites us to listen – with all our senses.’ – Margaret Hede
Following on the publication of her award-winning poetry collection Fire on Water in 2017, Colleen Keating, a Sydney poet, has continued to search for a sense of place in country – a land that is timeless and always changing. Much country has been handed back to its traditional owners, while mining companies and pastoralists continue to maintain their position. Aboriginal art has flourished and more people are searching for a place to call home. Colleen has also had published by Ginninderra Press A Call to Listen and a highly acclaimed verse novel, Hildegard of Bingen: A poetic journey. She has also co-authored Landscapes of the Heart (Picaro Poets) with John Egan.
Highly commended, Poetry, Society of Women Writers (NSW) Awards 2020
978 1 76041 844 1, 94pp



  • Available now on Amazon and ask at all good book stalls.
  • Ginninderra  Press

Colleen Keating / Hildegard of Bingen: A poetic journey


‘Hildegard of Bingen was a woman of extraordinary creative expression and this book approaches her wisdom through the gift of poetry which allows us to move into a more intuitive space. It is a book to slow us down, that invites us to ponder, and calls us to follow Hildegard towards a growing greenness in our lives.’ – Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE, Abbey of the Arts

‘Hildegard’s life sings and dances across the pages of this engaging harmony of her works, set out in this poetic journey that commences at the twilight of her life and rewinds back through the lens of time. Hildegard’s many gifts – including her charm – are expertly embedded. A very enjoyable and fascinating read.’ – Dr Christine Cameron

‘Colleen Keating brings to this impressive collection some very fine, positively Hildegardian qualities – a robust earthiness, an inner strength, a passion for justice and a fiery light.’ – Dr Mary O’Connell

‘What an oeuvre! What a superb and elaborate work! These nine books of poems by Australian poet Colleen Keating tell Hildegard’s story in a stunning way. The reader feels put into the landscape and ambience of Hildegard’s medieval cloistered world. Thus I highly recommend reading, tasting and meditating on this poetic journey with Hildegard of Bingen.’ – Dr Annette Esser, Founder and President of the Scivias Institute for Art and Spirituality, Germany.978 1 76041 766 6, 248ppVersions



My first copy in my hand
just arrived in the mail.
a twenty year journey to now




fire-on-water-cover 2


This my second book of poetry is published by Ginninderra Press.

It is available for purchase on line at It is also available as paperback or Kindle at

Over 80  recent poems  are divided into 8 sections on different themes.

The launch, by  Beverley George, an Internationally and nationally renowned Japanese poet was on Sunday afternoon 19th November 2017

The venue was NSW Writers Centre Rozelle with 60 enthusiastic friends and colleagues.


Poetry and Prose  edited by Colleen Keating & Decima Wraxall.    This is the cover of our new Anthology launched on Tuesday evening 10th November 2016, by Siobhan Colman, the Convenor of the Women Writers Network.   I am the co-editor with Decima Wraxall and we are both very proud of the publication.  We gathered in the Judith Wright Room at the NSW Writers Centre at Rozelle to celebrate and launch, sell and sign our new publication. It was a stellar evening with plenty of sparkling wine to celebrate.   Twenty -eight women writers belonging to the Women Writers’ Network showcase one or more pieces  of their writing – 159 pages of prose and poetry to enjoy.



My first book of poetry is published by Ginninderra Press.

It is available for purchase on line at It is also available as paperback or Kindle at

Over 80  recent poems  are divided into 8 sections on different themes.

The launch, by  Siobhan Colman, convenor of the Women Writers Network was on Sunday afternoon 1st March 2015.

The venue was Sappho Book Cafe  at Glebe with 70 enthusiastic friends and colleagues.



On the page called ACHIEVEMENTS  you can read a review of A Call to Listen . This is published in the journal  of the Society of Women Writers NSW,     Women’s   INK  . Thanks to Judith for her insightful review.






An Anthology of Poetry and Prose edited by Colleen Keating, Decima Wraxall and Silda Trainor Publ. 2013 RAXA Books NSW. We launched our Anthology Our Women’s Work at the Harold Park Hotel in Glebe with a great celebration. It was planned for Anne Deveson, one of our National Treasures and author of many books to launch the Anthology. However on the evening Anne was unwell, but the book was unveiled by our convenor and playwright Siobhan Colman and set free and sold well. It includes the writing, prose and poetry of 22 women from the Women Writers Network from the NSW Writers’ Centre Our Women’s Work has been short listed in the International Indie Book Awards 2014. Our writers group celebrated this with champagne and nibblies at our recent Wednesday meeting. We are all very proud to be able to have the gold star* on our Anthology Indie Book Award *Finalist Certificate in Women’s Issues *Finalist Medal and Certificate in Anthology. Congratulations to all.


feather “Thus am I a feather on the breath of God” says Hildegard of Bingen Being Short listed for the Dame Mary Gilmore Poetry Award 2015 has been affirming. The poem in search of Hildegard of Bingen ( a 12th century German mystic) has been commended in the Society of Women Writers of NSW, Dame Mary Gilmore Poetry Awards. Congratulations to Cynthia Rowe for first place. My poem was inspired by my trips to Germany to walk in Hildegard’s footsteps. The poem has a surprise ending. You will have to wait for my new book of poetry which will be published later this year. (2016) It will be published in an Anthology of winning entries both short stories and poetry in Women’s Ink 3 later this year. logo * * * * * * * * 2016