Chris Wallace-Crabbe (Christopher Wallace-Crabbe) Biography
(1934– ), (Christopher Wallace-Crabbe), The Music of Division, In Light and Darkness, The Rebel General
Australian poet, born in Richmond, Victoria, educated at the University of Melbourne. 1965 to 1967 he was Fellow in Creative Writing at Yale University and subsequently taught at the University of Melbourne, where he became Professor of English in 1988. The Music of Division (1959), In Light and Darkness (1964), and The Rebel General (1967) established his reputation as one of the most valuable Australian poets of his generation, his accomplishment in conventional forms providing the basis for work of compassionate socio-political awareness and philosophical rigour. Further collections include Selected Poems 1955–1972 (1973), The Foundations of Joy (1976), The Amorous Cannibal (1985), For Crying out Loud (1990), Rungs of Time (1993), and Selected Poems, 1956–1994 (1995). The energetically experimental qualities in much of his later writing result from his stated interest in discovering ‘how far lyrical, Dionysian impulses can be released without loss of intelligence’. Although his concerns are frequently abstract, his work remains rich in objective detail, much of it drawn from his natural surroundings in Australia. Among his works as a critic are the collections of essays Melbourne or the Bush (1973), Toil and Spin (1979), and Falling into Language (1990). His novel Splinters (1981) is set in Melbourne during the late 1960s and reflects the sense of cultural change prevalent at that time. As an editor his works include The Golden Apples of the Sun: Twentieth Century Australian Poetry (1980).