Friday, November 4, 2011

Robert Adamson wins the Patrick White Award

Robert Adamson, the incisive and sensitive poet associated with the Hawkesbury River just north of metropolitan Sydney, is this year's winner of the biennial Patrick White Award, for an older writer insufficiently recognized. This is always a judgment call, as on one level Bob Adamson's work is widely acclaimed, but this award has recently taken on the contours of being given tho a figure with national,but not international, recognition, and in this sense Adamson is a highly appropriate candidate. I included Adamson in a selection of Australian poems for the Manhattan Review a while back, and met him at a party hosted by Lily Brett and David Rankin--he possessed in person some of the grace and insight to be found so abundantly in his poetry. Adamson's work--at once Orphic and political, local and and laden with a sense of mysterium tremendum--is a truly substantial contribution to the contemporary lyric. 

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