LES MURRAY was born in 1938 and grew up on a dairy farm at Bunyah on the coast of New South Wales, where he lives. He studied at Sydney University and later became a translator at the Australian National University and an officer in the Prime Minister’s Department. His real vocation, though, was poetry, and from 1971 until the present day he has made literature his career.
Murray is the author of twenty-three titles published in Australia and several in the United States and England, including The Vernacular Republic (1982), The Daylight Moon (1988), The Rabbiter’s Bounty: Collected Poems (1991), The Boys Who Stole the Funeral, Sequence (1991), Dog Fox Field (1992), Translations from the Natural World (1992), Subhuman Redneck Poems (1997), Fredy Neptune: A Novel in Verse (1999), Learning Human (2000), and The Biplane Houses, to be published by FSG in May of 2007.
Murray has won numerous National Book Council Awards in Australia, as well as the Australian National Poetry Award, the Cook Bicentennial Poetry Prize (1970), the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal (1987), the New South Wales Premiers Prize, and the Bicentennial Poetry Prize (1988). He has also been honored by the Australian government with the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to literature, and has received four PBS Recommendations and two PBS Choices. In 1996, he was given the T. S. Eliot prize in the U.K. for Subhuman Redneck Poems, and in November 1998, he was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, for which he was recommended by the late Ted Hughes.