Porter's awards include The Age Book of the Year for poetry, the National Book Council Award for The Monkey's Mask and the FAW Christopher Brennan Award for poetry. Two of her verse novels were shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award: What a Piece of Work in 2000 and Wild Surmise in 2003. In 2000, the film The Monkey's Mask was made from her verse novel of the same name. In 2005, her libretto The Eternity Man, co-written with composer Jonathan Mills, was performed at the Sydney Festival.
Porter's last book published during her life was El Dorado, her fifth verse novel, about a serial child killer. The book was nominated for several awards including the inaugural Prime Minister's Literary Award in 2007 and for Best Fiction in the Ned Kelly Awards.
Two other works have been published posthumously: her poetry collection The Bee Hut (2009), as well as has her final completed work, an essay on literary criticism and emotions, entitled On Passion.
Porter, who found many outlets for writing, including fiction for young adults and libretti for chamber operas, was working on a rock opera called January with Tim Finn at the time of her death.