Andrew Taylor (poet)

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For other people named Andrew Taylor, see Andrew Taylor (disambiguation).

Andrew McDonald Taylor (born 19 March 1940) is an Australian poet and academic. Although he lacks the public profile of several of his contemporaries, he has since come to be regarded as a major figure in Australian poetry, with a body of work notable for its intelligence and its formal, emotional and geographical diversity.

Biography[edit]

He was born in Warrnambool, Victoria in 1940. Educated at the University of Melbourne, Taylor moved to Adelaide in 1970 where he taught at the English Department at the University of Adelaide, mainly in American Literature, and in 1975 co-founded the ongoing poetry reading group Friendly Street Poets. In 1992 he became Foundation Professor of English at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. He has been a member of the South Australian Arts Grants Advisory Committee, the Australian Society of Authors Management Committee and acting chairperson of the Literature Board of the Australia Council. In addition, he has been Chairperson of Writers' Week at the Adelaide Festival of the Arts, and was one of the founders of Adelaide's Friendly Street poetry readings, and the architect of the South Australian Writers' Centre, the first and prototype of many subsequent Writers' Centres throughout Australia.

Taylor was the regional winner of the British Airways Commonwealth Poetry Prize for his 1986 book, Travelling. His 1995 book of poetry, Sandstone, won the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards for poetry for that year, and Götterdämerung Café. was shortlisted in 2002. In 2005, Salt Publishing published Andrew Taylor's Collected Poems, bringing together his entire body of poetry, including new poems written between 2000 and 2003. A further collection, "The unhaunting", appeared from the same publisher in 2009.

He taught for many years at the University of Adelaide, was recently made an Emeritus Professor at Edith Cowan University, and is a Member of the Order of Australia. From 2006 until 2009 he was the poetry editor for the Australian literary journal Westerly. He has been a frequent visitor to Cornell University and Churchill College Cambridge, and has also taught at the University of Tübingen in Germany and at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology.

Although the bulk of Taylor's poems are relatively short lyrics or meditations, he has also been drawn to longer sequences, as in 'Travelling to Gleis-Binario' in the collection Travelling and 'Sandstone' in the collection of that name. The Crystal Absences, the Trout and Rome are in fact each single book-length poems, and Parabolas is a collection of prose poems that broke new ground in Australia when first published. His critical study, Reading Australian Poetry was the first of its kind in Australia for more than twenty years, and he continues to publish extensively on Australian poetry and fiction.

Works[edit]

  • The Cool Change (1971)
  • Ice Fishing (1973)
  • The Invention of Fire (1976)
  • The Cat's Chin and Ears (1976)
  • Parabolas: Prose Poems (1976)
  • The Crystal Absences, the Trout (1976)
  • Number Two Friendly Street (co-editor with Ian Reid) (1978)
  • Selected Poems (1960-1980) (1982)
  • Travelling (1986)
  • Reading Australian Poetry (1987) (criticism)
  • Folds in the Map (1991)
  • Sandstone (1995)
  • Götterdämerung Café (2001)
  • Collected Poems (2004)
  • Rome (2005)
  • Regret about the Wolves and other poems (2006)
  • The Unhaunting (2009)

References[edit]

  • "Who's Who in Australia" (2007)