Les Murray



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Les Murray is Australia's leading poet. He lives with his wife Valerie and his two youngest children in Bunyah, near Taree in NSW.

He has published some thirty books. He has been made AO and has an honorary D.Litt. from both the University of New England and the University of New South Wales. His work is studied in schools and universities around Australia and has been translated into about half a dozen foreign languages.

Poems the Size of Photographs, released in March 2002, was Les Murray's first book in many years. Learning Human contains all the poems Les Murray wishes to keep in print, including many from the acclaimed Subhuman Redneck Poems.

Duffy & Snellgrove also publish the verse novel Fredy Neptune, for which Murray was given the Queen's Gold Medal, Conscious and Verbal, his most recent volume of poetry, and The Quality of Sprawl, a selection of his prose writing about Australia. A more complete collection of prose is A Working Forest.

In August 2002 Duffy and Snellgrove published Collected Poems 1961-2002, and Learning Human: selected poems of Les Murray was published in June 2003.

On Saturday 17 July 2004, Les will be appearing in an event at the Mildura Writers' Weekend as part of the Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival. For more information, go to www.mwaf.org.


1938 Born Nabiac, NSW north coast

1957 Sydney University

1963-1967 Translator of Western European languages at the Australian National University

1965 First book of poems (with Geoff Lehmann), The Ilex Tree; Grace Leven Prize for poetry

1971 Becomes full-time poet in 1971

1972 Poems Against Economics; Captain Cook Bicentenary Literary Competition Prize (for some poems in the book)

1973-1979 Edited Poetry Australia magazine

1974 Lunch and Counter Lunch (prose); National Book Council Award

1976 The Vernacular Republic; C.J. Dennis Memorial (selected works) Prize

1976-1991 Poetry Editor at Angus & Robertson

1980 The Boys Who Stole the Funeral; Grace Leven Prize for poetry

1983 The People's Otherworld NSW Premier's Literary Award; Canada- Australia Literary Award; FAW Christopher Brennan Award; Australian Literature Society's gold medal

1986 New Oxford Book of Australian Verse

1986 Moves from Sydney back to Bunyah

1987 The Daylight Moon

1989 UK Poetry Society choice Australian Creative Fellowship

1990 Dog Fox Field; Grace Leven Prize for poetry; UK Poetry Society choice. Becomes literary editor of Quadrant magazine

1991 Subject of ABC Documentary

1992 Translations from the Natural World

1995 Short-listed for T.S. Eliot prize; NSW Premier's Literary Award; NBC Banjo Award; Victorian Premier's Literary Award. Wins European Petrarch Award for his life's work

1996 Collapses with liver infection which almost kills him (now completely recovered)

1996 Subhuman Redneck Poems; UK Poetry Society choice; T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry (London)

1997 A Working Forest Selected Essays

1998 Fredy Neptune, a verse novel

1998 Winner of Queen's Gold Medal for poetry

1999 Winner of Queensland Premier's Prize for fiction

1999 Conscious and Verbal

1999 The Quality of Sprawl - Selected essays about Australia

2002 Poems the Size of Photographs; Collected Poems 1961-2002