Barry Hill


Barry Hill was born in Melbourne and grew up in a politically active working-class household. He has worked as a psychologist and journalist in Melbourne and London. Since 1975 he has been a full time writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, as well works for radio, stage and musical performance.

His short fiction has been widely anthologised, and some stories translated into Chinese and Japanese. He has won Premier’s awards for non-fiction, poetry and essays. In the 1990s he was mainly writing history and poetry, mostly arising from fieldwork in Central Australia.

Currently he is Poetry Editor of The Australian and an Honorary Fellow at the Australian Centre and lives in Queenscliff, Victoria, with his wife, where he swims a lot, practices karate and tries to be a Buddhist.


The uses and abuses of humiliation

MemoirOne year I said I didn’t Want to be arrested. Back too frail to be man-handled. I settled for the dawn peace-vigil: Candles flickering in the police horse’s eyes. War can make cowards of poets. This year I didn’t want to protest Under anti-SAS banners. Those young...

A letter to my father

MemoirDEAR NEVILLE,I know you weren't that keen on poetry – apart from Henry Lawson's ‘Faces in the Street'– but here's a short poem I wrote a couple of years ago. I'd been looking at the black and white snap...

Poems that kill

EssayChildren Beneath Our Skyafter a 'cartoon' by Michael LeunigThe sky was one of the redeeming features of the war– Sigfried SassoonHere it billows and slides in from the west in waves blown and broken above the Southern Ocean. Sheet...

Getting to grips with naked

EssayWHAT IS IT to be naked? To others. And to ourselves. I suppose most of us know nakedness from various experiences of loving and being loved. Or from some childhood memory, perhaps going back to the moments of birth....

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