David Rowbotham

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David Rowbotham (27 August 1924 – 6 October 2010) was an Australian poet and journalist.

Early life[edit]

Rowbotham was born in the Darling Downs of Queensland, in the city of Toowoomba.[1] He attended Toowoomba Grammar School and studied at the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney.[2] He served in the Second World War on the Pacific front.

Literary career[edit]

Rowbotham worked as a journalist for the Toowoomba Chronicle and Brisbane Courier-Mail (1955–64).[3] He lectured in English at the University of Queensland (1965–1969), and became the literary critic of the Brisbane Courier-Mail (1969–1980), and its literary editor (1980–1987).[2]

Though lyrical in form, Rowbotham's poems are often concerned with history. After the publication of his Selected Poems by Penguin in 1994, covering a period of fifty years, Rowbotham entered a startling late period of productivity which culminated in the publication of the much-lauded Poems for America in 2002. In 2005 the Wagtail series from Picaro Press published a chapbook of Rowbotham's called The Brown Island.

Later life[edit]

A friend and mentor to many other Australian writers, Rowbotham also maintained extensive international connections, travelling frequently to the United States.

He died on 6 October 2010.


In 2007 Rowbotham received the Patrick White Award; the presentation was made 9 November 2007, in Brisbane.


  • Ploughman and Poet (1954)
  • Inland (1958)
  • All the Room (1964)
  • Bungalow and Hurricane (1967)
  • The Makers of the Ark (1970)
  • The Pen of Feathers (1971)
  • Maydays (1980)
  • Selected Poems (1994)
  • The Ebony Gates (1996)
  • Poems for America (2002)
  • The Brown Island (2005)
  • The Cave in the Sky (2005)
  • The Star of Engelmeer (2006)
  • Rogue Moons (2007)


  1. ^ David Rowbotham (Brisbane Writers' Festival) Accessed: 30 January 2007.
  2. ^ a b Australian Verse: An Illustrated Treasury, edited by Beatrice Davis, State Library of New South Wales Press, 1996
  3. ^ "David Rowbotham". Australian Poetry Library. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 

External links[edit]