AustLit logo
Peter Boyle Peter Boyle i(A2316 works by)
Born: Established: 1951 Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Male
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Peter Boyle is a Sydney-based poet and translator. He has translated the work of Venezuelan poet Eugenio Montejo, including his selection Trees (Cambridge: Salt, 2004). He has also translated Federico García Lorca, Luis Cernuda, César Vallejo, Pierre Reverdy, René Char, José Kozer and Yves Bonnefoy.

In 2017, his collection Ghostspeaking won the Kenneth Slessor Prize. Also in 2017, Boyle won the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal for Excellence in Literature.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Enfolded in the Wings of a Great Darkness Sydney : Vagabond Press , 2019 14816243 2019 selected work poetry

'Enfolded in the Wings of a Great Darkness represents a new departure in my writing. It is a single book-length poem made up of fragments and shorter pieces in varied styles that build towards the last line, which is the book's title. I have aimed at a sparse, open simplicity in this book, a clarity and brevity sufficient to carry the weight of the space I am now in, with my illnesses, my partner's cancer and the acute sense of time's limits. The poems question what it might mean to live and write in the immediate knowledge of death, what response we can find when out of the blue we, or the one we love, are told we have a very limited time, three or five years, to live. At the artistic as well as the personal level, there is also a need for balance in the work, as beauty, tenderness, the presence of the natural world, light as well as dark, insist on their place in the poem.'

Source: Author's blurb.

2020 shortlisted Queensland Literary Awards Judith Wright Calanthe Award
2020 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry
y separately published work icon Ghostspeaking Newtown : Vagabond Press , 2016 10150038 2016 selected work poetry

'Eleven fictive poets from Latin America, France and Québec. Their poems, interviews, biographies and letters weave images of diverse lives and poetics. In the tradition of Fernando Pessoa, Boyle presents an array of at times humorous, at times tormented heteronymous poets. In their varied voices and styles, writing as they do across the span of the 20th Century and into the 21st , these haunted and haunting figures offer one of poetry’s oldest gifts – to sing beauty in the face of death. In all this Boyle, their fictive translator, is deeply enmeshed.' (Publication summary)

2018 shortlisted Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature John Bray Poetry Award
2017 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry
2017 shortlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
y separately published work icon Apocrypha : Texts Collected and Translated by William O'Shaunessy Sydney : Vagabond Press , 2010 Z1719361 2010 selected work poetry

'In Apocrypha, Peter Boyle retrieves the luminous classical landscape that is the birthplace of Western civilisation and the Western psyche. Setting out to find the discarded or forbidden parts of this landscape, his search brings to light a forgotten but distinctly classical undercurrent of animism, of a piece, in its intellectual lucidity and precision, with classical science and philosophy. In the retrieved fragments of William O'Shaunessy's "translations", the outer world of poplars, ibis, windmills, commerce and political vagary interflows seamlessly with inner worlds of sorrow, anguish, love and loss to create a sparkling wholeness of meaning and matter that seems utterly lost to the West today. In a way that perhaps only a poet can, however, Boyle shows that this wholeness can be now, as it always was, our own.' - Freya Matthews

Source: Vagabond Press website,
Sighted: 24/08/2010

2011 shortlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2010 winner Australian Capital Territory Poetry Prize Judith Wright Award for a Published Collection by an Australian Poet
2010 winner Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Arts Queensland Judith Wright Calanthe Prize for Poetry

Known archival holdings

National Library of Australia (ACT)
Last amended 27 Jun 2019 08:43:27
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: