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Poetry from the East


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Ian Johnston is the eminent translator of ancient Chinese poetry and philosophy, published in Hobart, Hong Kong and New York. Barry Hill is the celebrated poet and historian who has won numerous awards, most recently the ACT’s 2008 Judith Wright Award. Ian will be reading from his new book, Waiting for the Owl: Poems and Songs from Ancient China, and Barry from his Four Lines East, his responses to India, Thailand and Japan.

In this night of reading and discussion, they come together to celebrate and share memorable poetry with a mind to the enterprise of translation.

Supported by the Australian Poetry Centre.



Barry Hill

Barry Hill is a multi-award winning writer of poetry, history, biography, fiction and reportage. Reason and Lovelessness is his latest collection of essays variously published in Australia, India and London. It includes ‘satellites’ of his major works – such as Sitting In (1992), a landmark m... Read more

Ian Johnston

Ian Johnston is a linguist, translator and former neurosurgeon. In 1999, Ian Johnston retired from his work as a neurosurgeon in Sydney where he had spent the previous 25 years. He moved to South Bruny Island to live a life of relative seclusion and to devote himself to his several non-medical inter... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.