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"Even Edgar's admirers cannot have been expecting such a tour-de-force as Lost in the Foreground [Duffy and Snellgrove, 2003]. Virtuosity of technique is combined with original thinking and clarity of presentation. Simply put, this is brilliant poetry, the equal of anything in English today. Australia should welcome the coming-of-age of an important talent."

Peter Porter

Poems on this web site:


Stephen Edgar
January 2001.



Stephen Edgar

Stephen Edgar's poetry is well-represented in a wide variety of Australian literary magazines and anthologies. He is currently the recipient of a prestigious two-year grant for poetry from the Australia Council, Literature Board (New Work - Established Writers).

Stephen was born in 1951 in New South Wales; he has lived in Hobart for many years and was Island Magazine's poetry editor for a considerable time.

Lost in the Foreground, his latest collection, was launched as part of the 2003 Tasmanian Readers and Writers Festival in March 2003; a list of his publications is given below.

Accolades for his poetry are plentiful:

In 2005, he won the inaugural Australian Book Review poetry prize: "Although faced with a high standard of entries and a very strong shortlist, the judges made a quick and unanimous decision on the winner because of the formal and imaginative qualities of Stephen Edgar's poem." (Source: ABR media release dated 31/3/2005).

From the cover of Lost in the Foreground (2003):

"Stephen Edgar is quietly building the Augustan garden of modern Australian poetry. Seldom have all the imaginable poetic qualities been combined into such a thoughtful poise, and with so easy-seeming a lyrical impulse. His poems not only demand to be read: they insist on being memorised, point for point. In Edgar's spare but steadily accumulating body of work, aesthetic appreciation and scientific rigour are conceived in terms of each other as if the two main modes of knowing had never been separated. The result is an entire, and entirely unexpected, bewitchment."

Clive James


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From the cover of Where the Trees Were:

"Here are thirty poems of vivid realisation. Readers will find in them thought that is lit with imagery as exact and sensuous as it is tactful, a force and fineness of feeling, and an intelligence that argues cogently, at times playfully, always intently. For Stephen Edgar is a craftsman who makes poems. He draws from the resources of the past yet configures these formal conventions in a versecraft that is individual and compelling.

"In this, his fourth collection of poems, he takes his gift further into that alert mode of reflection that places his work, with Gwen Harwood and A.D. Hope, in a tradition of our best discursive poetry.

"When the discourse on Australian Poetry recovers its equilibrium, there will be many who will be grateful that poets of the caliber of Stephen Edgar persisted in their craft through a discouraging era."

Alan Gould

Books by Stephen Edgar

Lost in the Foreground
Duffy and Snellgrove, 2003.

Where the Trees Were
Indigo/Ginninderra, 1999.

Corrupted Treasures
William Heinemann, 1995.

Ancient Music
Angus & Robertson, 1988.

Queuing for the Mudd Club
Twelvetrees Publishing, 1985.


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Home | Site index | Links | About submissions | v.1 1995 Book reviews; Interviews with writers | v..2 2000 Eric Beach; | v.3 2001 Anne Kellas | v.4 2001 Another Country:Tasmanian writers conference; | v.5 2002 Stephen Oliver | v.6 2003 Lionel Abrahams | v.7 2003 Showcase of Tasmanian poetry | v.8 A miscellany of voices