Waiting for the Past by Les Murray | Black Inc.

Waiting for the Past

Awards for Waiting for the Past

  • Winner of the Judith Wright Calanthe Award at the 2015 Queensland Literary Awards
  • Shortlisted, 2015 TS Eliot Poetry Prize
  • Shortlisted, 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Awards

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About the author

Les Murray

Les Murray (1938–2019) lived in Bunyah, near Taree in New South Wales. The author of some thirty books, his work is studied in schools and universities around Australia and has been translated into several foreign languages. In 1996 he was awarded …

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Praise for Waiting for the Past

‘This is Murray the revelator, master of the “hidden away”; his spade turns up so much truth it’s as though he were mining great seams of it, which of course he is, even when as here he is bottoming out on the bedrock of reticence deep in the bucolic soul … Murray is the great mining baron of Australian literature — brash but also breathtakingly brilliant and often both at once — who, having strode like a colossus for decades over a vast empire of open-pits, has in his dotage turned leaf-whistling prospector, content with a glint in the pan.’ —Weekend Australian


‘A profuse talent for image making and a capacity to fold syntax, sense, and sound into extraordinary verbal forms … [Murray] is able to submit his consciousness to alien states and beings, inhabit them, and bring forth poems of startling originality in extraordinary language.’ —Australian Book Review


‘No one writes like Murray: so truthful, nakedly emotional, wry, watchful. He’s set deep in the Australian landscape, writing about back roads, vertigo, sliced bread, old typewriters and the persistence of love. Murray is the holy fool of his own poems, and a hero of poetry.’ —the Guardian, Best Books of 2015


‘Les Murray's new book, Waiting for the Past, is not one that his numerous admirers will want to pass up…it's a vintage collection.’ —Sydney Morning Herald


‘In Waiting for the Past, Murray slides and slithers his way through the dark thickets and bright highways of language.’ —Southerly

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