John Forbes

(1 September 1950 - 23 January 1998 / Melbourne, Australia)

Biography of John Forbes

John Forbes poet

John Forbes was an Australian poet.

Forbes was born in Melbourne, Australia, but during his childhood his family lived in northern Queensland, Malaya and New Guinea. He went to Sydney University and his circle of friends included the poets Robert Adamson, Martin Johnston, and John Tranter. It was at this time that the work of the American poets Ted Berrigan, John Ashbery and Frank O'Hara made a strong and lasting impression on him.

He returned to live in Melbourne in the late 1980s, where he became the poetry editor of Scripsi. His friends around this time included the poets Gig Ryan, Laurie Duggan and Alan Wearne.

Forbes died in Melbourne of a heart attack, aged 47.

John Forbes's Works:

Collected Poems, 1970-1998; 2001, Brandl & Schlesinger
Damaged Glamour; 1998, Brandl & Schlesinger
New and Selected Poems; 1992, Angus & Robertson
The Stunned Mullet; 1988, Hale & Iremonger.
Stalin's Holidays; 1981, Transit Poetry.
Drugs; 1979, Black Lamb Press.
On the Beach; 1977, Sea Cruise Books.
Tropical Skiing; 1976, Angus & Robertson.

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Antipodean Heads

I wish we could be nicer
like the Americans

instead we are caught
halfway between

a European sense of style
you can always be at home in

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