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Courtesy of Fryer Library
John Forbes John Forbes i(A17401 works by) (birth name: John Patrick Forbes)
Born: Established: 1 Sep 1950 Melbourne, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 23 Jan 1998 Melbourne, Victoria,
Gender: Male
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John Forbes's father was a meterologist with the RAAF, and Forbes divided his childhood years between New Guinea, Malaya and Sydney. He graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in 1973, and later embarked on research for a higher degree on Frank O'Hara in the Sydney English Department.

After moving to Melbourne in 1989, Forbes held various jobs, including writer-in-residence, literary and art reviewer, and freelance tutor. His passion for poetry led to a key role in the establishment and reinvigoration of such Australian literary institutions as literary festivals, small presses and public poetry readings. He edited the poetry magazine Surfers Paradise and the journals Scripsi and Leatherjacket.

Forbes's poetry is characterised by postmodern wordplay and unpredictable symbolic deception. Despite his frequently ironic approach, Forbes has been praised for his generous readings of contemporary urban life, and the importance of love to personal survival.


Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

Breakfast i "to wake & throw", 1976 single work poetry
— Appears in: Southerly , September vol. 36 no. 3 1976; (p. 296) Days of Wine and Rage 1980; Stalin's Holidays : Poems 1980; (p. 34) New and Selected Poems 1992; (p. 48) The Poetry Book Club of Australia , January vol. 2 no. 1 1997; (p. 6) Collected Poems : 1970-1998 2001; (p. 64)
1976 winner H.M. Butterley - F. Earle Hooper Memorial Award
Last amended 17 Sep 2019 16:01:37
Influence on:
Angle Paul Mitchell , 2006 single work poetry
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