Anything and everything in Poetry from across our archives.

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Portrait of Barry Hill

Barry Hill  /  Poetry

Other essays are new: ‘Brecht’s Song’, on his working-class mother; ‘Dark Star’, an expansion of his meeting with Christina Stead on her 80th birthday; ‘Loving Roughneck’, his critical appreciation of John Berger; and ‘On the Edge of the Cliff’, on his private meeting with the Dalai Lama in the Blue Mountains.

As has been the case with his book-length works, Hill’s essays collected in Reason and Lovelessness are freshly, deeply researched, genre-crossing, multi-disciplinary, combining the candidly personal with the philosophical.

Hill was born in Australia and educated in Melbourne and London, where he worked as a psychologist and a journalist (the Age and the Times Educational Supplement). He has been writing full-time since 1975.

His short fiction has been widely anthologized, some of it translated into Chinese and Japanese. He writes libretti and has done much work for radio. Broken Song: TGH Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession (Knopf 2002) has been described as ‘one of the great Australian books’ (John Mulvaney) and ‘a major event in Australian high culture’ (Robert Manne). Necessity: Poems 1996-2006 won the ACT’s 2008 Judith Wright Prize. Lines for Birds, collaboration with the painter, John Wolseley, was short-listed for the 2011 Queensland Premier’s Award. His latest book is Naked Clay: Drawing from Lucian Freud.

Hill also worked as a radio critic on the Age for 15 years. Between 1998 and 2008, he was Poetry Editor of the Australian, and between 2005 and 2008 was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Melbourne. For decades, he has aspired to be a good Buddhist.

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