Les Murray was born in 1938 and grew up on a dairy farm at Bunyah on the north coast of New South Wales, where he still lives. He studied at Sydney University and later became a translator at the Australian National University and as an officer in the Prime Minister's Department. His real vocation was poetry and from 1971 he has made literature his full-time career. His first visit to Europe was in the sixties and since then he has returned frequently delighting audiences with his relaxed and excellent readings. He has special links with Scotland, and Scots ancestors, whilst remaining an important and distinctive Australian writer. Blake Morrison, writing in the Independent on Sunday wrote 'Critics speak of him as one of the finest poets writing in English today, one of the super league which includes Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott and Joseph Brodsky' and C. K. Stead in the London Review of Books said of his poetry 'It is wonderfully disciplined writing, offering what poetry and nothing else can offer, an art that arrests one's otherwise ever frustrated sense of the richness of the life that lives only for the moment'.
'It would be as myopic to regard Mr Murray as an Australian poet as to call Yeats an Irishman. He is, quite simply, the one by whom the language lives.' Joseph Brodsky. 'There is no poetry in the English language now so rooted in its sacredness, so broad-leafed in its pleasures, and yet so intimate and conversational.' Derek Walcott, The New Republic '...the true spokesman of the whole nation, the custodian of its soul... the most accomplished poet in Australia today, and among the half dozen most successful poets in the English language...' Peter Porter