Poet Les Murray  has died at the age of 80.
Poet Les Murray has died at the age of 80.

Literary giant Les Murray dies

Les Murray, an Australian literary giant, has died at the age of 80.

Murray, one of the nation's most celebrated poets, published nearly 30 volumes of poetry throughout his lifetime as well as two verse novels.

He grew up in poverty on his grandparents' farm in Bunyah, NSW and moved back with his own family in 1985.

Les Murray, affectionately known as The Bard of Bunyah, was Australia’s most celbrated poet. Picture: The Australian
Les Murray, affectionately known as The Bard of Bunyah, was Australia’s most celbrated poet. Picture: The Australian

Recurrent themes in his work were the history and landscape of Australia, white settlers, indigenous life, family, and the rural landscape.

Murray, affectionately known as The Bard of Bunyah, was the author of many volumes of poetry, including his first book The Ilex Tree, his verse novel Fredy Neptune, and Waiting for the Past.

He was sometimes mentioned as a future Nobel Prize for Literature winner, The Australian reports.

Poet Les Murray at his northern NSW home after winning the T.S Eliot Prize for outstanding poetry in 1997. Picture:  Chris Pavlich
Poet Les Murray at his northern NSW home after winning the T.S Eliot Prize for outstanding poetry in 1997. Picture: Chris Pavlich

In addition to his many volumes of poetry, Murray was also called upon to write items of an upfront political nature, including the pledge for new citizens.

Murray later disavowed the new citizens' pledge, saying his wording had been rejigged by bureaucrats.

 

 

 

 

Former prime minister John Howard also enlisted Murray's help in drafting a proposed preamble to the Constitution in the late 1990s, but it proved controversial and was sunk in the 1999 republican referendum.

Among many other honours, Murray was awarded the T.S Eliot Prize and the Queen's Gold Medal for his work.

 

More to come



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