John Tranter Obituary, New South Wales Australian Poet Has Died
- john Gibson
John Tranter Obituary, Death – Australian poet, publisher, and editor John Ernest Tranter was born on 29 April 1943. He authored over twenty books of poetry, created the ABC radio show Books and Writing with Jan Garrett, and founded the internet quarterly literary magazine Jacket in 1997, which he edited until 2010.
Some Australian poets “acknowledge his role as innovator and experimentalist” after receiving a 1990 Creative Arts Fellowship from the Australia Council. After inconsistent university attendance, Tranter earned his BA in 1970. Since the mid-1980s, he has made over twenty reading tours to the U.S., Britain, and Europe, mostly in publishing, teaching, and radio production. He resided in London, Cambridge, Singapore, Florida, San Francisco, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane in Australia.
He and his wife Lyn own Australian Literary Management, a top literary firm, in Sydney. He earned a Doctorate in Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong (conferred, highly praised) in 2009. John Tranter co-designed the first Books & Writing radio show for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1975, which was still running thirty years later. John Tranter edited The Bulletin’s poetry section from 1990 to 1993 and oversaw ABC Radio National’s two-hour arts program Radio Helicon from 1987 to 1988.
He has been a visiting scholar at many universities, including Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and Cambridge University in England. Urban Myths: 210 Poems: New and Selected (2006) and Starlight: 150 Poems (2010) are two of his twenty poetry collections.
Urban Myths: 210 Poems: New and Selected, published by the University of Queensland Press, won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for poetry in 2006, the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize in 2007, and the South Australian Premier’s Awards in 2007. 2008 John Bray poetry prize and 2008 South Australian Premier’s Awards Premier’s Prize for the best book overall (2006 and 2007).
Berlin, published by the University of Queensland Press, won the 1989 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry (the New South Wales State Literary Award for Poetry), and At Florida won the 1993 Melbourne Age ‘Book of the Year poetry award. The Floor of Heaven (Harper Collins, 1992), a book-length sequence of four verse narratives, Late Night Radio (Polygon, Edinburgh, UK, 1998), Heart Print (Salt, Cambridge, UK, 2001), Different Hands (Folio/ Fremantle Arts Centre Press, Cambridge, and Western Australia, 1998), a collection of seven experimental computer-assisted prose pieces, and Borrowed Voices (Shoestring Press, Nottingham, 2002), a dozen reinterpretations of poetry, are other recent books
He and Philip Mead wrote and published The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry in 1991. The New Australian Poetry (Makar, Brisbane, 1979) and The Tin Wash Dish (ABC Books, 1988) were earlier anthologies. He created a free prototype website in 2004 with biographical and bibliographical information on over 70 Australian poets, poems, book reviews, and interviews. The University of Sydney English Department, Library, and Copyright Agency Limited took over the project in 2005.
The consortium received half a million dollars from the Australian Research Council in 2006 to establish the Australian Poetry Library, hosted by the University of Sydney Library at http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/. On 25 May 2011, the initiative was unveiled at State Government House, Sydney, including over 42,000 Australian poems from 1800 to the present.
He started blogging at http://johntranter.net/ in 2012. He released a list of links to fifty items he wrote, edited, or photographed for “Jacket” magazine over thirteen years in the Commentaries section of “Jacket2” magazine in 2013.
John Tranter founded the Journal of Poetics Research at http://poeticsresearch.com in 2014 with three other Managing Editors—Dr. Kate Lilley, University of Sydney; Dr. Ann Vickery, Deakin University; and Professor Philip Mead, University of Western Australia—and thirty others (mostly international) editors. At that time, two editions each year, in March and September, were planned. The first (free) issue was published at the end of September 2014.