Anthony Lawrence has written poetry and fiction. He left school at the age of sixteen, becoming first a jackeroo, and then travelling for several years before returning to New South Wales to become a teacher and writer. While working as a fisherman in Western Australia, he secured a literary fellowship which enabled him to devote time to writing poetry.
Lawrence's poems have appeared in numerous Australian and international literary magazines, including Meanjin, Overland, Poetry Australia, LiNQ, Salt and Antipodes (USA). His poetry explores many aspects of the Australian landscape, capturing the harshness of rural life, but also meditating on the minute and beautiful details of native birds, fish and animals. His verse also examines the poet's childhood and early influences, and reveals a fascination with figurative language and the process of creating a poem. Lawrence's work has been described as a form of 'narrative with a strong lyrical vein', by the Oxford Companion to Australian Literature.
Lawrence has won a number of awards for his poetry, including the inaugural Judith Wright Calanthe Award (Queensland Premier's Poetry Prize), the Harri Jones Memorial Award, the Gwen Harwood Memorial Prize in 1996, and the Newcastle Poetry Prize in 1997. He has also received a number of Literature Board Grants.
Lawrence was poetry editor for the 2004 volume of UQP's Best Australian Poetry Series.