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Julian Croft (1941 – )

Julian Croft was born in 1941, in Newcastle, New South Wales. He was educated at Newcastle Boy’s High School, and the University of Newcastle, where he completed a BA (1960) and subsequently an MA, writing his thesis on the poetry of Kenneth Slessor and R. D. FitzGerald. After completing his MA he travelled in Europe and Africa, teaching at Fourah Bay College (University of Sierra Leone), in Freetown, Sierra Leone, from 1968–1970. In 1970 he returned to Australia and took up an appointment as a lecturer at the University of New England. After retiring in 2002, he became an Emeritus Professor in the School of English, Communication and Theatre at UNE. Aside from poetry he has published extensively in the field of literary history and criticism, including book-length critical studies on the work of Joseph Furphy (1991), R. D. FitzGerald (1987), and the Welsh-Australian poet and academic T. Harri Jones (1976), and editing a collection of Kenneth Slessor’s light verse, Backless Betty from Bondi (1983).

Croft began publishing poetry in the early 1960s, and his work appeared regularly in Australian literary journals from the early 1970s. In 1979, he published a joint collection with Michael Sharkey, Loose Federation, and in 1984 published his first major collection, Breakfasts in Shanghai, with Angus and Robertson—this work won the Asia/Pacific section of the (British) Commonwealth Poetry Prize for a first collection. By 2010 he had published three further collections, Confessions of a Corinthian (1997), After a War (any War) (2002), and Ocean Island (2006). Croft’s poetry is informed by his travels and wide experience, and is noted for bringing a probing philosophical insight to images of the everyday world.

Poetry Collections
  • [with Michael Sharkey] Loose Federation (Armidale, NSW: Kardoorair Press, 1979).
  • Around the Traps (Armidale, NSW: Fat Possum Press, 1982).
  • Breakfasts in Shanghai (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1984).
  • Confessions of a Corinthian: poems (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1991).
  • After a War (any War): poems by Julian Kroft (Armidale, NSW: Kardoorair Press, 2002).
  • Ocean Island (Elwood, Vic: John Leonard Press, 2006).
Suggested Further Reading
  • Julian Croft, ‘Such Is/Was Life, ‘Unemployed at Last!’: Essays on Australian Literature to 2002 for Julian Croft (Armidale, NSW: University of New England, 2002).
  • Martin Duwell, ‘A Rising Tide,’ Australian Book Review no. 291 (2007), p. 48.
  • Angela Gardner, ‘The Mirror Glass Where One World Sees its Reflection in the Other,’ Famous Reporter no.36 (2008), pp. 42–47, internet, http://walleahpress.com.au/FR36Gardner.html
  • Nigel Spence, ‘ “With a Pen Poised Over the Old Chaos”: Julian Croft and the Problem of an Australian Diction,’ Westerly 38.3 (1993), pp. 17–26.
  • Ken A. Stewart and Shirley Walker, ‘Bibliography of Julian Croft,’ ‘Unemployed at Last!’: Essays on Australian Literature to 2002 for Julian Croft (Armidale, NSW: University of New England, 2002).