Kenneth Slessor photo   Kenneth Slessor (1901-1971)

Brief Biography

Kenneth Slessor was born in Orange, New South Wales, in 1901. He published his first poetry in the Bulletin magazine while still at school. He worked on the Sydney Sun newspaper from 1920 to 1925, and for a while on the Melbourne Punch and Melbourne Herald. He returned to Sydney in 1927 to work on Smith's Weekly, where he stayed until 1939.

In 1939, at the outbreak of the Second World War, Slessor was appointed as an official war correspondent, and spent time with Australian troops in England, Greece, the Middle-East and New Guinea.

At the end of the war he returned to the Sydney Sun as a leader-writer and literary editor until 1957. He then worked for the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph. During this period (from 1956 - 1961) he was also editor of the literary magazine Southerly.

Kenneth Slessor died in 1971.


Poetry Collections
Thief of the Moon 1924
Earth-Visitors 1926
Trio with Harley Matthews and Colin Simpson, 1931
Cuckooz Contrey 1932
Darlinghurst Night and Morning Glories 1932
Five Bells 1939
One Hundred Poems 1944
Backless Betty from Bondi edited by Julian Croft, 1983
The Collected Poems of Kenneth Slessor edited by Dennis Haskell and Geoffrey Dutton, 1994

Prose Collections
Bread and Wine 1970
War Diaries edited by Clement Semmler, 1985
War Dispatches edited by Clement Semmler, 1987

Other Collections
Poetry, Essays, War Despatches, War Diaries, Journalism, Autobiographical Material and Letters of Kenneth Slessor edited by Dennis Haskell, 1991

Australian Poetry 1945
The Penguin Book of Australian Verse 1958

Kenneth Slessor, a Biography by Geoffrey Dutton, 1991

Selected Poetry

Until recently you were able to read the text of a number of Kenneth Slessor poems here. The copyright holder got a bit "upset" over this and has requested I remove them.

This page and its contents are copyright 2001-2003 by Perry Middlemiss, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: March 5, 2003.