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Bruce Beaver Biography

(1928–2004), Under the Bridge, Seawall and Shoreline, Open at Random, Letters to Live Poets

poems poetry australian

Australian poet, born in Manly, New South Wales. He led a peripatetic early life, including four years spent in New Zealand. As a young man he had suffered from manic depression and his early collections of poetry, Under the Bridge (1961), Seawall and Shoreline (1964), and Open at Random (1967), reflect his inner turmoil. Letters to Live Poets (1969), his major work, was written at great speed at a time when he thought he would lose his mind completely; the ‘Letters’ are confessional in tone and his reflections upon childhood and manhood, fears and obsessions, are effectively set against striking images of landscapes. Lauds and Plaints (1974), a sequence of poems celebrating the human spirit, combines a new optimism with effective experiments in form. Odes and Days (1975) includes poems addressed to Beethoven, Mahler, Holderlin, and Rilke. Other volumes include Death's Directives (1978), As It Was (1979), a prose poem, Charmed Lives (1988), and Anima and Other Poems (1994). He has also published several novels. New and Selected Poetry 1960–1990 appeared in 1991. As an editor of Poetry Australia he contributed to the development of the ‘New Australian Poetry’ in the 1960s and 1970s.

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