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Graham Rowlands (1947 – )

Graham Rowlands was born in Brisbane in 1947. He was educated at Brisbane Grammar School, and at the University of Queensland, graduating with an MA in 1972. He began writing poetry at a young age, and started publishing his work in literary journals and magazines from the mid 1960s. In 1966 and 1967, he was editor of the University of Queensland literary magazine Makar. In 1971 Rowlands moved to Adelaide, where he commenced a PhD in American Studies at Flinders University. In Adelaide he became associated with the Friendly Street poetry group, co-editing (with Pauline Wardleworth) one of the group’s anthologies, Friendly Street Poetry Reader No.9 (1985). In the later 1970s he began a long period as poetry editor of the journal Overland. Since completing his PhD in 1978, Rowlands has worked as a literary journalist, educational editor, and as a lecturer in Australian politics and in creative writing.

Rowlands published his first collection of poetry, States and Statues, in 1972. He has since published seven further collections, though he has stated that he prefers to concentrate on publishing individual poems in journals and magazines; he continues to publish verse widely and prolifically in this way. Nonetheless, his more recent publications include a volume of Selected Poems (1992) and a Collected Poems (2009). Rowlands is particularly noted for satirical poems with a political emphasis, and for his use of the monologue form.

Poetry Collections
  • States and Statues (St Lucia, Qld: Makar Press, 1972).
  • Replacing Mirrors (Cammeray, NSW: Saturday Centre, 1975).
  • Poems Political (St Lucia, Qld: Makar Press, 1976).
  • Adam Scolds (North Ward, Qld: Cochon, 1976).
  • Dial-a-Poem (Unley, S.A., Friendly Street Poets, 1982).
  • On the Menu (Unley, S.A., Friendly Street Poets, 1988).
  • Selected Poems (Kent Town, S.A., Wakefield Press, 1992).
  • Collected Poems (Adelaide: Lythrum Press, 2009).
Suggested Further Reading
  • Hazel de Berg, [Interview with Graham Rowlands], 1980, cassette, National Library of Australia.
  • Martin Duwell, ‘Poets and Language: An Interview with Graham Rowlands,’ Makar 10.3 (1975), pp. 1–9.
  • Deb Matthews-Zott, ‘Poetry Which Speaks for Itself, Eloquently,’ The Adelaide Review no. 353 (2009), p. 35. http://www.adelaidereview.com.au/archives.php?subaction=showfull&id=1245893669&archive=1248924701
  • Geoff Page, ‘Graham Rowlands,’ A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Australian Poetry (St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1995), pp. 252–53.
  • Graham Rowlands, ‘Graham Rowlands reads his poetry at the Australian Defence Force Academy Library,’ (Canberra: ADFA Library, 1990), VHS videocassette.
  • Iain Spalding, Liam Monkouse and Clay Hunter, ‘Graham Rowlands,’ in Ioana Petrescu and Naomi Brewer, eds., Heart of the Matter: An Introduction to Eighteen South Australian Poets (Adelaide: Lythrum Press, 2004), pp. 114–30.