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Acclaimed Australian poet Les Murray dies at age 80

Murray's agent reports he had "been unwell" for some time.

Les Murray

Les Murray, author of nearly 30 books, died on Monday at a nursing home in Taree, Australia. 

Margaret Connolly, Murray’s longtime agent, told the ABC the author had “been unwell” for some time. “Essentially it was old age, he hadn’t been very well, his health had been deteriorating,” she reported.

Murray, nicknamed “The Bard of Bunyah,” received numerous literary awards in his lifetime, including the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. His work was translated into 20 languages. James Parker called him “our greatest living English-language poet” in a 2016 article for The Atlantic. 

Black Inc., Murray’s publisher, released the following statement: “We mourn his boundless creativity, as well as his original vision. His poetry created a vernacular republic for Australia, a place where our language is preserved and renewed … Les was frequently hilarious and always his own man. He would talk with anyone, was endlessly curious and a figure of immense integrity and intelligence.”

Readers can find an anthology of many of Murray’s greatest poems here. 

 

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