Jack Bedson

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John William "Jack" Bedson (born 5 March 1950) is an Australian writer, poet, children's picture book author, and former university librarian.

Bedson was born in the Sydney suburb of Redfern and raised in Sydney's inner suburbs. He went to preschool at Blackfriar's Public School in Chippendale, primary school at St Benedict's Broadway, and secondary at De La Salle College, Marrickville. He worked briefly as a stage hand at TCN9 Willoughby, and was accepted to the National Institute of Dramatic Art production course but declined in favour of an Arts degree at the University of New South Wales, graduating with First Class Honours in 1973 then completing a Diploma in Librarianship in 1974.

Bedson pursued librarianship in Tasmania where he also qualified as a ticketwriter, and began publishing poetry. He travelled for three years in Asia and Europe with his partner Margaret Bain before returning to settle in Armidale, New South Wales where he worked at the library of the University of New England. He acted as University Librarian in 2000 and 2007-9.

His best-selling children's picture books Don't Get Burnt and SheepDogs, illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe, are classic Australian tales of the city and the bush. His adult poetry is salted with aphorisms, as in Karma, Sorta:

Youth's the Perfect Crime,

Adulthood the Perfect Punishment.

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Don't Get Burnt, or, The Great Australian Day at the Beach illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe (Collins, 1985)
  • The Contents of Their Wallet edited with Anthony J Bennett (Kardoorair, 1987)
  • Sleep no more; poems of Jack Bedson (Kardoorair, 1993)
  • The Campbell Howard Annotated Index of Australian Plays 1920-1955 edited with Julian Croft (CALLS, 1993)
  • Sheep Dogs illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe (Walter McVitty, 1990) (Puffin, 1995)
  • Nojyo ha Osawagi (Walter McVitty, 1990) illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe

A fuller bibliography is available at AustLit http://www.austlit.edu.au/