Martin Harrison (born in 1949) is an Australian poet.

He published poems and limited edition books in London and New Zealand before his first main collection, The Distribution of Voice (University of Queensland Press),appeared in Australia in 1993. In the 80s Harrison worked as a literary journalist and reviewer as well as a producer for ABC Radio, where he was closely associated with sound art, new music and experimental radio work. His 1997 poetry collection, The Kangaroo Farm (Paperbark Press) was shortlisted for the Victorian Premiers Award, and his 2001 collection Summer (Paperbark Press) won the Wesley Michel Wright Award for poetry. A selected poems, Wild Bees (University of Western Australia Press) was shortlisted for both the South Australian Premiers Awards and the ACT Poetry Prize.

Harrison has written extensively about Australian poetry. Some of his essays are collected in the internationally acclaimed volume "Who Wants to Create Australia?" (Halstead Press). This book was a Times Literary Supplement book of the year selection for 2004.

His poetry has been translated into Mandarin (A Kangaroo Farm trans Shaoyang Zhang, Jiangsu, Nanjing 2008) and into French.

There is a wide range of critical commentary on his work, principally in Australian and some UK journals. In the main, these views focus either on the detailed micro-perceptual approach to environment and natural phenomena in his work or on the self-reflective, time filled nature of selfhood in his work or they focus, more directly, on the metaphysical nature of many of the poems. British critic David Morley has defined Harrison as the writer of "some of the most brilliant metaphysical nature poems of our time." Michael Farrell, however, considers the subjective side of his work in the preface to the Out of the Box anthology (Puncher and Wattmann, Sydney 2009) describing his poetry as about selfhood caught in the process of learning, in which "learning the self and world are in alternation."[citation needed] Nigel Wheale captures a similar sense, reviewing The Kangaroo Farm in the London Review of Books (20:19, 1998), describing the poems as attempts to create "livable locales" and a form of pursuit for places where, in Wheale's words, "ordinary happiness might reside."

Martin Harrison's Works:

Leisure: Poems, Limited Edition, illustr. Denise Riley, Great Works, London 1978
Truce: Poems, Limited Letterpress Edition, Alan Loney’s Hawk Press, Wellington, New Zealand, 1979
1975: Poems, Limited Edition, Ferry Press, London, 1980
The Distribution of Voice: Poems, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia Queensland, 1993
The Kangaroo Farm, Paper Bark Press, Brooklyn NSW, 1997
Summer, Paper Bark Press, Sydney, 2001
Our ABC: A Dying Culture, Currency House, Strawberry Hills NSW Australia, 2004.
Who wants to Create Australia? Essays on Poetry and Ideas in Contemporary Australia, Halstead, Sydney, Australia, 2004.
Music: Poems and Prose, Vagabond Press, Newtown, NSW, 2005
A Kangaroo Farm, trans Shaoyang Zhang, Jiang-su Literature and Art Publishing, Nanjing, 2008
Wild Bees: New and Selected Poems, University of Western Australia Press, Perth WA, 2008
New and Selected Poems: Wild Bees, Shearsman Books, Exeter UK, 2008

Poems by Martin Harrison

Poet of the day

Ethel Turner was an Australian novelist and children's writer.


Ethel Turner was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England on 24th January, 1872. She migrated to Australia with her widowed mother, older sister Lilian and step sister, Jeannie in 1880.

Educated at Sydney Girls’ High School, she and Lilian wrote stories...

Poem of the day

Dugdraaben blinker paa Rosengreen;
Den tindrer, den zittrer af Glæde:
I mindste Dugperle, klar og reen,
Er Verdenssolen tilstede.

Sjæle er Draaber paa Livets Green;
De tindre, de zittre af Glæde:
I Sjælens Dugperle, klar og reen,
Er Verdensaanden tilstede.

Dugdraaben blinker et Øjeblik;