John Bennett grew up in the south of England when Red Squirrels were already becoming rare. He studied Philosophy & Sociology at university and travelled extensively before discovering Australia and settling here just over thirty years ago. He has worked at various sites including the Powerhouse Museum, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and Sydney University. He gained a PhD for ‘A New Defence of Poetry’ which attacked the myth of poetry as being above and beyond normal language use and its claims to transcend the ordinary and everyday.
He has performed around the world, transcribed his poetry for actors on ABC radio and won two of the most prestigious poetry prizes in Australia, the Newcastle and David Tribe. He was a Sydney Harbour Artist of the Year and poet in residence at the Macleay Museum.
In 2010 he moved out of Sydney to the coast and lives opposite Jagun Nature Reserve, and in the first year saw 100 species of birds in his garden and the adjacent forest. He is now an occasional teacher of ecopoetry and the Artistic Director of the Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival. As well as a poet, he is a photographer and video artist — his DVD ‘Bird Lane Nettle’ (a collaborative enterprise with the musician John Laidler) was released this year.
Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications
In National Library of Australia