David Campbell: A life of the poet by Jonathan Persse

Reviewed by
September 2020, no. 424
Buy this book
Philip Mead reviews 'David Campbell: A life of the poet' by Jonathan Persse

David Campbell: A life of the poet

by Jonathan Persse

Australian Scholarly Publishing, $44 pb, 260 pp

Buy this book

David Campbell: A life of the poet by Jonathan Persse

Reviewed by
September 2020, no. 424

To an older generation of Australian poetry readers, David Campbell (1915–79) was perhaps the best-loved poet of Douglas Stewart’s post-World War II ‘Red Page’, appearing there with what would become iconic poems of the new Bulletin school like ‘Windy Gap’, ‘Who Points the Swallow’, and ‘Men in Green’. Despite his frequent publication in that heritage venue, Campbell published his first collection, Speak with the Sun (1949), in England with Chatto & Windus, through the good offices of his Cambridge mentor E.M.W. Tillyard. After that, he joined the ancien A&R régime of poets like Rosemary Dobson, R.D. FitzGerald, Francis Webb, James McAuley, and Judith Wright, who took up much of the middle ground of Australian poetry in the 1950s and 1960s. A lifelong friend and supporter of Campbell, Stewart was also influential in this group’s prominence, along with Beatrice Davis, his editorial co-adviser at Angus & Robertson.

Philip Mead reviews 'David Campbell: A life of the poet' by Jonathan Persse

David Campbell: A life of the poet

by Jonathan Persse

Australian Scholarly Publishing, $44 pb, 260 pp

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