Vivian Smith (poet)

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Vivian Brian Smith (born 3 June 1933) is an Australian poet. He is considered one of the most lyrical and observant Australian poets of his generation.

Smith was born in Hobart, Tasmania and studied French at the University of Tasmania from which he graduated with a Master of Arts. He left Tasmania in the late 1950s and has lived since then in Sydney, where he was a longtime professor at the University of Sydney until his retirement in the early 2000s.[1] He returns to Tasmania every year and his poetry is still influenced by the landscape there. Smith has published criticism as well as a bibliography of the work of Patrick White.[2] He has been an advocate of Australian literature and of many individual Australian writers.

Smith's first book of poetry, The Other Meaning, was published in 1956 and he has since published eight further collections, among which Tide Country won the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Poetry and the Grace Leven Prize. The most recent collection is Along The Line (Salt, 2007). He is a highly respected critic, having produced key studies on Australian literature and contributed much to the growth and sophistication of criticism surrounding Australian poetry. With his fellow poet and great friend, the late Noel Rowe, he published the anthology Windchimes: Asia in Australian Poetry (Pandanus Books 2006).[2]


  1. ^ Scrivener, Leone: Vivian Smith, The Companion to Tasmanian History (University of Tasmania).
  2. ^ a b Smith, Vivian, AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource, 14 October 2008.