Chris Wallace Crabbe

Chris Wallace Crabbe setch by Louis Kahan

Born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond in 1934, Wallace-Crabbe was educated at Scotch College, Yale University and the University of Melbourne. He has worked for many years at the University of Melbourne and is now a professor emeritus in the Faculty of Arts. He has had residencies at Harvard University and the University of Venice. He was the founding director of the Australian Centre and is the chair of Australian Poetry Limited. In 2011, he was awarded the Order of Australia.

“After leaving school he worked as cadet metallurgist at the Royal Mint, Melbourne, then, at diverse jobs, including six months in the RAAF, before attending the University of Melbourne. Graduating in English and philosophy, he became Lockie Fellow in Australian Literature and Creative Writing, Melbourne University, from1961 to 1963; Over the next decades he became Reader in English, and then held a Personal Chair from 1988. He was Harkness Fellow at Yale University, 1965-67, Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard, 1987-8, and Visiting Professor at the University of Venice, 1973 and 2005. He has given many readings of his poetry around the world.” Poetry Archive

Wallace Crabbe continues to surprise and delight. His epic poem “The universe looks down” has been interpreted visually by his artist partner Kristin Headlam. It is a beautiful melding of poem and art. The Library holds the artists book and the archive of the creation of the work.

“Reviewers over the years have drawn attention time and again to the energetic mixture of demotic and elevated language which very often marks Wallace-Crabbe's poetry. For the poet, this not only testifies to his wide interest in language but also to his sense of the stubborn plurality of our experience”

UMA 2005.0004 Unit 345

L Chris Wallace Crabbe UMA 2003.0003.00067  R The Chris Wallace Crabbe poetry collection in Rare Books