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In Britain the most adventurous list in poetry and in fiction is that being printed according to the ideals of a small press by Carcanet, well away from London. It does look as if the old alliance between the words of the writer and the artistry of making fine books has a vital future.
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Learning Human: New Selected Poems
ISBN: 978 1 857545 14 2
Categories: Australian, Catholic
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: April 2001
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
From just on puberty, I lived in funeral:
mother dead of miscarriage, father trying to be dead,
we'd boil sweat-brown cloth; cows repossessed the garden.
Lovemaking brought death, was the unuttered principle.
from 'Burning Want'
Derek Walcott celebrates Les Murray in these terms: 'There is no poetry in the English language so rooted in its sacred-ness, so broad-leafed in its pleasures, and yet so intimate and
Fifteen years ago Carcanet published Les Murray's first British Selected Poems. It has gone through several printings, while the poet has developed well beyond it in range and resource. As well as several new collections, he has published his celebrated verse novel Fredy Neptune, and he is one of the great presences in modern poetry, continuing with his generous and uncompromising project of creating a vernacular republic and widening the poetic franchise to include all the marginalised and excluded categories.
His new selected, Learning Human, represents the range of his development in narrative, lyric and satirical modes. All of his best-loved early poems are here, along with the remarkable work of recent years. His title is in itself a kind of manifesto.
Awards won by Les Murray , 1994 nomination for the Oxford Chair of Poetry. , 1996 T.S. Eliot Prize for the best collection (Subhuman Redneck Poems). , 1999 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
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