Modern Australian Poetry

(This information was obtained from the Australia.gov.au website.)


Modern Australian poetry seeks to tell Australian stories and truths with a poetic significance, so that, 'they sear into the soul and can never be untold' (Dorothy Porter). The aim for clarity is central. Following early intense debate about the meaning of modern poetry for Australia – its essence, innovation and international context – today, it is seen as cosmopolitan as well as laconic but still lucid.


The richness, strength and vitality of Australian poetry is marked by its prodigious diversity. Yet themes persist through this diversity. An abiding interest is the Australian landscape and how to relate to it – its presence and its visual power. Significantly, a great deal of modern Australian poetry has been innovative and experimental, whether consciously or not. The search for modernism itself had an urgency in its explorations. (John Kinsella).


During the 1930s and 1940s there was much debate about modernist poetry and what it meant. In the 1930s, in Adelaide, two poetry movements emerged: the Jindyworobaks and the Angry Penguins.


The Jindyworobaks encouraged Australian writers to express themselves in language indicating their essence as Australians. On the other hand, the Angry Penguins wanted Australian poetry to become more innovative and international by using surrealism.


This site has a huge wealth of information and resources dedicated to Australian Literature; with information on well known authors and/or publications to up to date lists of writing, poetry and informational resources.  Visit the site here.

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