Les Murray is Australia's leading poet and one of the greatest contemporary
poets writing in English. His work has been published in ten languages.
His first collection The Ilex Tree was published in 1965. His
verse novel The Boys who Stole the Funeral (1980) consists of 140
sonnets, modest precursor to his massive verse novel Freddy Neptune
(1998), a story that takes its protagonist through the history of the twentieth
century in a series of adventures and reflections. His first substantial
book The Vernacular republic: Poems 1961-1981 was published outside
Australia in 1982. Later books include The Daylight Moon (1987),
Dog Fox Field (1990), the large Collected Poems (1991) and
Translations from the Natural World (1993). He is an author of more
than 30 books. The Biplane Houses is Murray's most recent collection,
published in April 2006 (Australia, Black Inc.).
Les Murray has won many literary awards, including the Grace Levin
Prize (1980 and 1990), and for Subhuman Redneck Poems (1996) he
was awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize in 1996. In 1999 he was awarded the Queen’s
Gold medal for Poetry on the recommendation of Ted Hughes and in 2004 he
was awarded the Premio Mondello – Città di Palermo.
Praise for Les Murray:
'There is no poetry in the English language now
so rooted in its sacredness, so broad-leafed in its pleasures, and yet
so intimate and conversational.'
The New Republic 'Critics speak of him as one of the finest poets writing
in English today, one of the superleague which includes Seamus Heaney,
Derek Walcott and Joseph Brodsky.'
Independent on Sunday 'A poet of fantastic power and range... All human
life is bound within Murray's poetry.'
The Observer 'Les Murray is one of the finest poets in whom the
English language is now at work.'
Times Literary Supplement