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Chris Wallace-Crabbe

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  • Chris Wallace-Crabbe is a leading Australian poet and essayist, with a special interest in the visual arts. He has published more than twenty collections of poetry, including Telling a Hawk from a Handsaw (Carcanet) and Afternoon in the Central Nervous System (Braziller, NY). His New and Selected Poems was published by Carcanet in 2013. The son of a pianist and a journalist, he was raised ‘to be interested in everything’. He is a Professor Emeritus at Melbourne University, and has held posts at Harvard and Ca’ Foscari, Venice. He received the Dublin Prize for Arts and Sciences in 1987, the Philip Hodgins Prize for Literature in 2002, and in 2011 the Order of Australia.
    Praise for Chris Wallace-Crabbe 'Wallace-Crabbe may be in love with language, especially the colloquial, the quirky and the idiosyncratic, but he also has "something to say". Rondo is rich in elegy and acknowledgement.'
    Geoff Page, Sydney Morning Herald
     'Prefacing one of his new poems, Wallace-Crabbe quotes D. H. Lawrence: "You just walk out of the world and into Australia." Here it is the other way round. You walk out of a Wallace-Crabbe poem and into the world.'
    Alastair Niven
    'A witty, endearingly slangy, yet unostentatiously philosophical Australian poet'.
    Times Literary Supplement
    'His allies are words and he uses them with the care of a surgeon and the flair of a conjuror.'
    Peter Porter
    'Wallace-Crabbe engages the most serious subjects in a frame of mind at once vulnerable and humorous. His personae may be shackled to the mast of slang, conceit, and bathos, but the song of the Siren is nevertheless nobly clear in these poems.'
    Mary Kinzie, Poetry (Chicago)
    'There is certainly an immense and joyous energy in the book and it mixes intellectual experience of excitement and doubt with personal experience of exaltation tinged by reminders.. of mortalily.'
    Martin Duwell, The Australian
    '...in his valuing of both the aesthetic and the ordinary as the realms of humanity, he always reminds us - despite what the end has to offer us all - of a different kind of weather, one where, even as darkness is falling, ''the lit clouds yet / sail sweetly over us / inhabiting a daylight of their own''.'
    David McCooey, Sydney Morning Herald
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