Martin Harrison

Martin Harrison (1949-2014) was an Australian poet. He published poems and limited edition books in London and New Zealand before his first main collection, The Distribution of Voice (University of Queensland Press), appeared in Australia in 1993. In the 1980s, Harrison worked as a literary journalist and reviewer as well as a producer for ABC Radio, where he was closely associated with sound art, new music and experimental radio work. His 1997 poetry collection, The Kangaroo Farm (Paperbark Press) was shortlisted for the Victorian Premiers Award, and his 2001 collection Summer (Paperbark Press) won the Wesley Michel Wright Award for poetry. A selected poems, Wild Bees (University of Western Australia Press) was shortlisted for both the South Australian Premiers Awards and the ACT Poetry Prize. Harrison has written extensively about Australian poetry. Some of his essays are collected in the internationally acclaimed volume Who Wants to Create Australia? (Halstead Press). This book was a Times Literary Supplement book of the year selection for 2004.

Adam Aitken Interviews Martin Harrison

I’ve known Martin Harrison since 1985, when I first met him in Newtown, New South Wales. I had been an undergraduate and aspiring poet at the University of Sydney, and we were neighbours.

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By the River

Parked under trees on the other side of the dusty area where trailers often get abandoned a few days by truckies who don’t want to pick up far from the freeway and, yes, there’s a gap in the tree-cover opening …

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Smaller than gnats, almost imperceptible, glistening flies hovering in their edgeless clusters shaping and reshaping sideways through winter sun’s white light – mid-air thrips emanating between shadow and light-ray – thirty centimetres above damp long grass, matted weeds, cool earth, …

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White Flowers

The air the wind the outside and outsize of what’s possible and imaginable clear and clean endeavour into the atmosphere of light on dark and glittering spaces where crimson rosellas swerve sideways into cascades of down-hanging white flowers they land …

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Milk and Honey

What would have been the poem for you has become an over-riding sense of the day – taking it for granted, as one does, with its drives, its houses, its office – all the non-specifics by which looking back, a …

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