One of Australia and Britain’s greatest poets, Peter Porter dies aged 81

Peter Porter, one of the foremost poets of recent years, has died aged 81. Born in Brisbane, Australia, he moved to Britain in 1951, and was part of a circle of poets known as The Group which included Martin Bell, George Macbeth and Fleur Adcock. He also worked for a time as a copywriter in the advertising firm Notleys alongside William Trevor.

His poems combined a directness of language with a great depth of learning and breadth of subject matter. The Cost of Seriousness, 1978, written about the death of his wife, is one of his most respected works and was described as 'Hardyesque’ by critic Mick Imlah.

Peter Porter’s awards included the Duff Cooper prize, Whitbread, the Forward, the Queen’s Gold Medal, and the Gold Medal for Australian Literature. Asked whether he considered himself more British than Australian, he replied: 'I sometimes think that I belong to the most notorious nationalist country; the country of "me".’

Two obituaries can be read here and here. Peter Porter also contributed the introduction to the Folio edition of Lawrence Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet.

last modified: Mon, Sep 12th 2011Bookmark and Share
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