Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online



Poetry In Australia – Judith Wright (1963)

Synopsis

The poet Judith Wright (1915-2000) is introduced by well-known ABC broadcaster John Thompson in an interview that covers aspects of her early life on the land, her art as one of Australia’s premier poets and her activism as an environmentalist and campaigner for Aboriginal land rights.

Curator’s notes

This is a lovely and quite rare extended interview with the Australian poet Judith Wright. Eminent broadcaster John Thompson asks her about her early years in the bush in order to explain some of the major themes that emerge in her work. Born into a wealthy squatter family in Armidale in northern New South Wales, Judith Wright’s first book of poetry was published in 1946. For many years she worked and lived at Mount Tambourine in Queensland with her husband, novelist and philosopher Jack McKenney, and her daughter Meredith. Judith Wright was the first Australian poet to receive the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1992.

The story of her family’s colonial past and the near destruction of the local Aboriginal people is recorded in the The Generations of Men written in 1959.

This simple, talking heads interview is most informative and a delight to watch. A must-see for students of her work, especially fellow poets.