LITERATURE

Les Murray
Australia Crest

Larrikin, staunch Republican and poet extraordinaire, born in 1938 in the Bunyah district, near Taree, NSW.

Les Murray

On December 1st, 1998, Buckingham Palace announced that Les had won the 1998 Queen's gold medal for poetry after a recommendation by the late Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes. Previous winners of the medal include W H Auden, Philip Larkin and Siegfried Sassoon. It will be interesting to hear what exchange there is between QE11 and Murray when he rolls up to Buck House to receive his gong. When in London he can visit his favourite bookshop at nearby Oxford, Blackwell in Broad Street, next to Trinity College.

In 1998, Murray also won the T S Eliot prize confirming his standing as one of the finest poets in the English speaking world in the 20th century. His winning submission was called Subhuman Redneck poems.

Les was asked to help PM John Howard write a Preamble to the Constitution of Australia. He should have declined as his effort was edited by the P.M. etc. and rubbished by the critics when released.

Murray and his wife Valerie live on the land of his ancestors at Bunyah.


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