1 Introduction

This is an online version of a thesis, Poetry, Politics and Place: Black and White Perceptions of Modern Australian Poetry 1965 – 1990.

The thesis explores the influence of landscape on the development of modern Australian poetry and cultural identities. It argues that the most influential landscape poetry does not just deal with landscape as an aesthetic concept, but with the politics of land ownership.

Read the abstract

Read the conclusion

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal poets have perceived and described the land in different ways:

The politics of landscape

First contact

Early European visions of Australia

These distinct visions can be traced to the relationship that each culture has with the land and the inter-relationships between the cultures and their poems and songs, for example:

Literary traditions

Contemporary Aborginal voices

Colonial views of Australia


Several landscape poets have given voice to some of the most compelling social currents in Australian society, and their work had an important place in the political debates of the 1990s and beyond. They include:

Oodgeroo Noonuccal

Lionel Fogarty

Judith Wright

Lee Cataldi

This thesis was submitted by Kelly Gardiner in 1998, and the resulting Master of Arts conferred by Deakin University in 2000.

Supervisor: Judith Rodriguez.

Copyright 1998 Kelly Gardiner

Feel free to cite with attribution