Paul Hetherington was born in Adelaide in 1958. He studied at the University of Western Australia, eventually completing a PhD there on the poetry of Emily Dickinson. In the late 1980s he was editor of the Fremantle Arts Review, before moving to Canberra in 1990 to take up a position at the National Library of Australia. Until November 2009 he was director of the National Library’s publications and events branch, and was founding editor of its quarterly journal, Voices (1991–97). He is now Associate Professor of Writing at the University of Canberra.
Hetherington began publishing his poetry in the 1980s, his work featuring in a number of Western Australian literary journals including Patterns, Westerly, and the Fremantle Arts Review. His first poetry collection, Mapping Wildwood Road, appeared in 1990, and he has since published seven further collections including a verse novel, Blood and Old Belief (2003). He has served on the boards of a variety of literary and cultural organisations, judged various poetry prizes, and was one of the founders of the ACT Writers Centre. He has also been active as a reviewer, and edited The Diaries of Donald Friend (volumes 2, 3 and 4; 2003–2006). He is one of the founding editors of the online journal Axon:Creative Explorations (2011- ) http://www.axonjournal.com.au.Poetry Collections
- Mapping Wildwood Road. Pamphlet Poets (Canberra: National Library of Australia, 1990).
- Acts Themselves Trivial (South Fremantle, WA: Fremantle Press, 1991).
- The Dancing Scorpion (Canberra: Molongo Press, 1993).
- Shadow Swimmer (Canberra: Molongo Press, 1995).
- Canvas Light (Canberra: Molongo Press, 1998).
- Stepping Away: Selected Poems (Canberra: Molongo Press, 2001).
- Blood and Old Belief: A Verse Novel (Canberra: Pandanus Books, 2003).
- It Feels Like Disbelief (Cambridge, UK: Salt Publishing, 2007).
- Chicken and Other Poems (Warners Bay, NSW: Picaro 2012)
- David Gilbey, ‘Men at Work,’ Australian Book Review no. 238 (2002), pp. 30–31.
- Paul Kane, ‘Freedom to Invent,’ Australian Book Review no.293 (2007), p. 53.
- David McCooey, [review of Blood and Old Belief: A Verse Novel], JAS Review of Books no.23 (2004). http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/24605/20040505-0000/www.api-network.com/cgi-bin/reviews/jrbview93ec.html?n=1740760239&issue=23
- Simon Patton, ‘Sense of Past and Sense of Self,’ Australian Book Review no. 131 (1991), p. 27.
- Shirley Walker, ‘Stream of Memory,’ Australian Book Review no. 174 (1995), pp. 54–55.