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Michael J. Leach

Michael J. Leach

Born: 1983 in Bendigo Victoria, Australia
Resides: Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
E-mail: mleach11 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Michael Leach lives and works on unceded Dja Dja Wurrung Country in his birthplace of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. He is an award-winning poet and poetry reviewer as well as a full-time senior lecturer at the Monash University School of Rural Health. In his Monash University role, Michael undertakes research projects, serves on research committees, supervises PhD candidates, teaches units in demography and safety in healthcare, and delivers haiku workshops to encourage reflection, empathy, and wellbeing among healthcare students. He is a co-lead of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE) Health Humanities Hot Topic Action Group (HTAG). Michael’s reviews of poetry books reside in Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry while his poems have appeared in various outlets, including journals such as Windfall: Australian Haiku, websites such as Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine, anthologies such as under the same moon: Fourth Australian Haiku Anthology (Forty South Publishing Pty Ltd, 2023), exhibitions such as the Antarctic Poetry Exhibition, and his two poetry books, the chapbook Chronicity (Melbourne Poets Union, 2020) and the full-length collection Natural Philosophies (Recent Work Press, 2022). During 2024, Michael will publish two new poetry books: a collection of haiku and senryu (In Case of Emergency Press) followed by a collection of poems exploring sounds and emotions (Ginninderra Press).

Awards and Other Honors:

Winner, UniSA Mental Health and Wellbeing Poetry Competition (2015); Commendation, Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine (2021); Joint winner, poetry category of the inaugural Minds Shine Bright Confidence Writing Competition (2022); Shortlist, poetry category of the Woollahra Digital Literary Award (2023); Longlist, poetry category of the second Minds Shine Bright Confidence Writing Competition (2024).

Books Published:

Chronicity (Melbourne Poets Union, 2020); Natural Philosophies (Recent Work Press, 2022).

Selected Work
far corner
of the dining room―
peace lily
sun-kissed orchard
cane borers’ antennae brush
blackberry hairs
hospital carpark
dawn light through gumtrees
on the morning she passed
winter burial
setting sun bursts
while Mum’s casket descends
country roadside―
the motorist holds a blanket
round a joey
river red gums


“far corner” – Windfall: Australian Haiku issue 10 (2022) and under the same moon: Fourth Australian Haiku Anthology (2023); “sun-kissed orchard” – GRAVITON Literary Journal 3 (2019) and under the same moon: Fourth Australian Haiku Anthology (2023); “hospital carpark” and “winter burial” – Families, Systems, & Health vol. 40 (2022); “country roadside” – Live Encounters Poetry & Writing (November 2023); “creekside” – Rural Fiction Magazine (October 2023).

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