Ernest Moll was born in Murtoa, Victoria, on 25 August 1900 and moved to Strathdown, Gerogery, New South Wales in 1909. From 1913-18 he attended Concordia College, Adelaide and at the age of 20 moved to the United States for study, graduating Bachelor of Arts, Lawrence College in 1922 and Master of
Arts, Harvard University in 1923.
Having lectured at Colorado College from 1923 to 1925, Moll returned to Australia 1925 to 1926 where he collected and imported 3 000 Australian native birds to the United States. In 1927 he again took up his teaching position at Colorado College wher he also published his his first book of verse, Sedge fire. In the same year (on 24 September) he married Nieva Remington with whom he had two children, Richard and Carolyn. A year later Moll was appointed Assistant Professor of English at the University of Oregon, an institution where he remained until his retirement in 1966.
From 1931 onwards Moll published fourteen poetry collections, one book of history and two books on poetry appreciation. His 1940 collection of poetry, Cut from mulga, was chosen by the Commonwealth Literary Committee as best book of the year. In 1966 Moll etired from the University of Oregon, and was awarded the University Medal for Distinguished Academic Service. Having moved to Oroville, California in 1972, Moll continued writing until his death there on 15 May 1997.
Moll maintained his connections with Australia, lecturing on exchange at Sydney Teachers' College 1939 to 1940, and returning frequently to the border region, particularly Yackandah.
They come each morning to the gate,
are milked and wander off to feed;
six cows, a calf and in the lead
a brindled bull, old, fat sedate.