“Barry Hill is a remarkable presence in Australian writing … I think of David Malouf, Judith Wright, and Les Murray as companion voices, for they too are writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and brilliant essayists steeped in European literature who are profoundly interested in Aboriginality …
[He is] a confident Australianist whose writing life has moved decisively towards Asia and the universal in recent years.”
Introduction, Reason and Lovelessness:
Essays, Encounters, Reviews, 1980–2018
Since 1990, with Penguin’s publication of Raft, Barry Hill has been acclaimed for his poetry. His Ghosting William Buckley (Heinemann 1993), which won his first Premier’s Award, was described by Overland’s Barrett Reid as a ‘major work’. David Malouf wrote that The Inland Sea (Penguin 2001) was ‘a mixture of intense contemplation and powerful eroticism’. Necessity: Poems 1996–2006 won the ACT Judith Wright Award. Lines for Birds (2011), a collaboration with the artist John Wolseley, was commended for the Prime Minister’s Prize, and described by Nathaniel Tarn as ‘a miraculous gift of a book’. His Naked Clay: Drawing from Lucian Freud (2012), which John Kinsella described as ‘a masterpiece’, was short-listed for the 2013 UK Forward Prize, and prompted Sebastian Smee to declare him ‘a superb poet’ … His Selected Poems was published last year. Kind Fire is his eleventh collection.
Beloved Historian at Home
For the late Hugh Stretton and Patsy Stretton
He cannot remember a line of his great works
or my name, but most days he locates his toothbrush.
And he can, still, turn to his wife
who finds him there in his well of love.