Five Islands Press was founded in 1986 by Ron Pretty, who published over 230 books by Australian poets before retiring in 2007. Since this time, the Press has maintained its commitment to publishing fine Australian poetry, including the work of emerging and established poets.

Five Islands Press is no longer accepting new manuscripts for publication. The Press has ceased to publish new titles, and will be winding up in mid 2020.

We thank our readers for their support over the last three decades. We thank founder Ron Pretty and past editors Lyn Hatherly, Robyn Rowland, Dan Disney, Susan Fealy, Sandy Fitts, Michael McKay and Jenna Shaw, for their tireless work. We are immensely proud of the achievements of our authors, and thank them for trusting us with their writing. It has been a privilege to publish so many fine books and be a part of Australian poetry publishing history.

Subscriptions to the Press are available for 2019.


Kevin Brophy has had sixteen books published, including nine collections of poetry and four works of fiction. He lectures in creative writing at The University of Melbourne. From 1980 to 1994 he published and edited the lit journal Going Down Swinging. His latest book is Look at the Lake (Puncher & Wattmann, 2018).

Katia Ariel is a freelance editor. She has completed a Bachelor of Arts/Law at Monash University (2003), as well as a Graduate Diploma of Publishing and Editing at RMIT (2005). She works as a freelance proofreader, researcher and copy editor for numerous local book publishers. She enjoys scrawling the words of Rumi on her chalkboard, finding people to speak Portuguese with, gardening and cooking elaborate dishes in silence.

Eddie Paterson is a researcher, writer, poet and very occasional dramaturg. He lectures in creative writing: scriptwriting at The University of Melbourne. His latest book is redactor (Whitmore Press, 2017), which was shortlisted for the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry and the 2018 John Bray Poetry Award.

Bella Li is a writer, editor and PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. Her first book, Argosy (Vagabond Press, 2017), won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry and the 2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry. Her second book, Lost Lake (Vagabond Press, 2018), was shortlisted for the 2018 QLD Literary Award for Poetry.


Libby Austen has been a graphic artist for many years and worked at some of Melbourne’s top advertising agencies. Currently she teaches in the Graphic Design Department at Holmesglen TAFE, Chadstone.

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Lyn Hatherly (1945–2016) came to Five Islands Press as a poet, an academic, an editor and a classical scholar in 2001, assisting Ron Pretty through the last years of his directorship. From 2007 Lyn formed a group around her with the aim of continuing the history, spirit and publishing work of Five Islands Press. After an intense but short battle with cancer, Lyn died in March 2016. In her time with the new incarnation of the Press she worked on the expansion into e-books, the establishment of a new design for the Press, a new distribution partnership, and the recruitment of new editors. From 2007 to 2016 the Press published 29 new books by 27 Australian poets, plus an anthology of contemporary Chinese poetry in translation. As a publisher, editor, writer and teacher, Lyn Hatherly served Australian poetry with distinction, sophistication, dedication and calmness. All who worked with her came to love and depend upon her. Lyn has four published books: Acts of Abrasion (Five Islands Press, 2006), Sappho’s Sweetbitter Songs (Routledge, 1996), Songs of Silence (Medal Poets, 1994), and Many, and One (Five Islands Press, 2017).

Robyn Rowland, Dan Disney, Susan Fealy, Sandy Fitts, Jenna Shaw and Michael McKay were also valued contributors to the editorial team.