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Vale Les Murray AO

I was saddened to learn of the passing today of Les Murray AO, arguably Australia’s greatest contemporary poet.

He was the author of scores of poems published in nearly 30 volumes over the past half century, and his work has been translated into nearly a dozen languages.

His evocative writing featuring the rural landscape and Australian bush of his home drew a wide spectrum of readers. He achieved the uncommon, with his prolific and popular output continuing to be well received by critics.

Les’ work was recognised with many accolades over his lengthy career. He was awarded Australia’s oldest annual poetry prize, the Grace Leven Prize, on two occasions, in addition to the prestigious Petrarch Prize and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, among multiple others. 

Australia, and the world, has lost a rare individual. I offer my condolences to his family and friends.