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Ken Bolton (1949 – )

Ken Bolton, 2004, photo courtesy the author Ken Bolton, 2004, photo courtesy the author

Ken Bolton was born in Sydney in 1949. He attended the University of Sydney, graduating with an Honours degree in Fine Arts, and subsequently completed a PhD at the University of Adelaide. Since 1982 Bolton has lived and worked in Adelaide, where he is associated with the Experimental Art Foundation, and operates a press, Little Esther Books.

Bolton’s poems have been published extensively in Australian literary journals, and he has published more than a dozen poetry collections, as well as a number of collaborations with John Jenkins. He was editor of the independent literary journals Magic Sam (1975–1982) and Otis Rush (1987–1996), and also edited the anthology Homage to John Forbes (2002). He has retained a strong interest in art history and theory, as well as continental philosophy and experimental literature, and besides poetry has published art and literary criticism.

Poetry Collections
  • Four Poems (Sydney: Sea Cruise Books, 1977).
  • Blonde and French (Sydney: Island Press, 1978).
  • Christ’s Entry into Brussels or Ode to the Three Stooges (Sydney: Red Press, 1978).
  • Two Sestinas (Wollongong: Beer Rhymes With Bier Press, 1980).
  • Talking To You (Melbourne: Rigmarole Books, 1983).
  • Blazing Shoes (Adelaide: Open Dammit, 1984).
  • Notes For Poems (Adelaide: Shocking Looking Books, 1984).
  • [with John Jenkins], Airborne Dogs and Other Collaborations (Melbourne, Vic: Brunswick Hills Press, 1988).
  • [with John Jenkins], The Ferrara Poems (Adelaide: Experimental Art Foundation, 1989).
  • Two Poems: A Drawing of the Sky (Adelaide: Experimental Art Foundation, 1990).
  • Sestina To The Centre Of The Brain (Adelaide: Little Esther, 1991).
  • Selected Poems (Ringwood, Vic.: Penguin, 1992).
  • [with John Jenkins], The Gutman Variations (North Adelaide, South Australian Publishing Ventures and Futures, [1993]).
  • Untimely Meditations and other poems (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1997).
  • August 6th (Adelaide: Little Esther, 1999).
  • Happy Accidents (Adelaide: Little Esther, 1999).
  • Horizon (Sydney: Vagabond Press, 2001).
  • [with John Jenkins], The Wallah Group (Adelaide: Little Esther Books, 2001).
  • [with John Jenkins], Nutters Without Fetters (Berry, NSW: PressPress, [2002]).
  • Europe (Adelaide: Little Esther, 2005).
  • Three Poems for John Forbes (Adelaide: Little Esther, 2005).
  • At The Flash & At The Baci (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2006).
  • The Circus (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2010).
  • A Whistled Bit of Bop (Austin, Texas: Vagabond, 2010).
  • Sly Mongoose (Glebe, NSW: Puncher & Wattmann, 2011).
Suggested Further Reading
  • Lyn McCredden, review of  ‘Untimely Meditations’, Heat no.8 (1998)
  • John Kinsella, ‘Interview with Ken Bolton,’ A Salt Reader (Applecross, WA: Folio, 1995), pp. 310–21.
  • Peter Minter, ‘Ken Bolton: in conversation with Peter Minter’ Jacket 27 April 2005. [see linked file]
  • Gregory O’Brien, ‘Outside the Interior: Two Australian Artists: Ken Bolton and Noel McKenna,’ Overland no. 146 (1997): pp. 54–61.
  • Alan Wearne, ‘The Ferrara Poems,’ Australian Book Review 114 (1989): pp. 37–38.