Home > Poets > Thorne, Tim

Tim Thorne (1944 – )

Tim Thorne, Sydney, 2004, photo by Nigel Roberts Tim Thorne, Sydney, 2004, photo by Nigel Roberts

Tim Thorne was born in 1944 in Launceston, Tasmania. Educated at Yolla Area School and the University of Tasmania, he became interested in poetry at a young age, and began publishing his work in the mid-1960s. In 1967 he moved to Sydney, where he became associated with the 'Generation of '68' poets. He returned to Launceston in 1969, where he married, and published his first poetry collection Tense Mood and Voice the same year. A writing scholarship took him to Stanford University in California in 1971-72, after which he returned to Launceston where he has lived ever since. Among many other poetry awards, fellowships, and writer in residence positions, in 1978 he won the Marten Travelling Fellowship for poetry, which allowed him to travel to the Cambridge Poetry Festival in 1979.

Aside from poetry, Thorne has worked in various occupations, as a language teacher, book reviewer, columnist for the Hobart Mercury, university tutor, and community arts officer, among others. He has had a long association with literary events and initiatives in Tasmania, founding the Launceston Poetry Cup, and establishing the Cornford Press. Thorne also has a long history in political activism, the influence of which is often felt in his poetry, usually with satire and wit. To date Thorne has published eleven poetry collections, including a highly-praised volume of new and selected poems, I Con (2008). His long satirical poem using the ottava rima stanzaic form, A Letter to Egon Kisch (2007), won the William Baylebridge Memorial Prize.

Poetry Collections

Tense Mood and Voice (Sydney: Lyre Bird Writers, 1969).

The What of Sane (Sydney: New Poetry, 1971).

New Foundations (Sydney: Prism, 1976).

A Nickel in my Mouth (Wynyard, Tasmania: Robin Books, 1979).

The Atlas (Wentworth Falls, NSW: Black Lightning Press, 1983).

Red Dirt (Brooklyn, NSW: Paper Bark Press, 1991).

The Streets Aren't for Dreamers (Nottingham, UK: Shoestring Press, 1995).

Taking Queen Victoria to Inveresk: poems (Launceston, Tasmania: Queen Victoria Museum and Art
Gallery, 1997).

Head and Shin (Hobart: Walleah Press, 2004).

Best Bitter (Berry, NSW: PressPress, [2006]).

A Letter to Egon Kisch (Cornford Press, 2007)

I Con: New and Selected Poems (Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2008).

Suggested Further Reading

Andrew Peek, 'Interview Feature: Tim Thorne,' Island no.98 (2004), pp. 26-44.

Tim Thorne, 'Poetry and Politics: Fact and Opinion,' Five Bells 14.4 (2007), pp. 28-30.

Tim Thorne, 'Poetry in Tasmania: a Personal Memoir,' Five Bells 10.2 (2003), pp. 4-6.

Tim Thorne, 'Statement,' Australian Literary Studies 8.2 (1977), pp. 152-54.

Ralph Wessman, 'An Interview with Tim Thorne,' Famous Reporter 35 (2007), pp. 188-203.