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Maxwell Henley Harris AO (13 April 1921 – 13 January 1995), generally known as Max Harris, was an Australian poet, critic, columnist, commentator, publisher, and bookseller.
Harris was born in Adelaide, South Australia, and raised in the city of Mount Gambier, where his father was based as a travelling salesman. His early poetry was published in the children's pages of The Sunday Mail . He continued to write poetry through his secondary schooling after winning a scholarship to St Peter's College, Adelaide. By the time he began attending the University of Adelaide, he was already known as a poet and intellectual. In 1941, he edited two editions of the student newspaper On Dit .
Harris's passion for poetry and modernism were driving forces behind the creation in 1940 of a literary journal called Angry Penguins . His co-founders were D.B. "Sam" Kerr, Paul G. Pfeiffer and Geoffrey Dutton. The first issue attracted the interest of Melbourne lawyer and arts patron John Reed, who offered to collaborate on publishing further issues. Harris, already trying to establish a South Australian branch of the Contemporary Art Society, was lured to the Reeds' art enclave at Heide. By the second issue of Angry Penguins, Harris had incorporated visual art into the journal. Sidney Nolan later joined the editorial team. Other artists associated with Angry Penguins include Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, James Gleeson, Arthur Boyd and John Perceval.
Traditionalist poets were outraged by the success of Angry Penguins with its promotion of surrealism and publication of progressive writers such as Dylan Thomas, Gabriel García Márquez, James Dickey and the American poet Harry Roskolenko.
The poet and critic A. D. Hope was among those virulently opposed to Harris and the modernists. Hope inspired two young poets serving in the army, Harold Stewart and James McAuley, to "get Maxy". Under the name of "Ern Malley", the pair crafted a series of poems in the modernist style and submitted them to Harris at Angry Penguins. Harris thought the poems brilliant and published them with some fanfare in Angry Penguins.
The poems were controversial but well received. However, police in South Australia interpreted some lines in the poetry as lewd (one poem used the word "incestuous")and Harris was charged with obscenity.
Reed and Harris, who were by this time also publishing books, employed a detective to discover more about the mystery poet. Word emerged that Ern Malley was a hoax. The obscenity trial attracted international press attention. Harris was found guilty and fined five pounds despite noted literary critics testifying for the defence.
Harris never wavered in his belief in the quality of the Ern Malley poems, which continue to be published and studied.
Harris ran the Mary Martin Bookshop in Adelaide with his university friend Mary Maydwell Martin. They published a monthly newsletter with literary criticism, comment and book reviews. After Mary Martin moved to India, Harris expanded the book chain across Australia and Hong Kong. The chain pioneered the remaindered book industry in Australia by offering quality titles at reasonable prices. Harris fought the stranglehold which overseas publishers had on the Australian book market, taking on major publishing houses to ensure accessibly-priced books for Australian readers. The Mary Martin chain was sold to Macmillans in the late 1970s.
Harris founded and co-edited the Australian Book Review and another literary journal, Australian Letters, which continued the practice of commissioning artists to illustrate poetry. He was also, together with Geoffrey Dutton and Brian Stonier, a founder of Sun Books.Harris published his poetry privately, although it was often included in classic Australian anthologies.
He became a long-serving and controversial columnist for The Australian , with many of his "Browsing" columns later published in book form. It was in this context that he was dubbed "Australia's Cultural Catalyst".[ by whom? ] He also wrote columns for Adelaide newspapers. Harris campaigned against censorship, and was an early voice in the Australian republican movement.
Although he was not a Catholic, Harris championed the then little-known nun and teacher, Mary MacKillop, founder of the Josephite order, calling her "a saint for all Australians". He became a prominent lay spokesman for her canonisation. Josephite nuns visited Harris in later life when he was ill. His ashes lie in a park between the Mary MacKillop College and the Josephite Convent in Adelaide.
A collection of his work was published posthumously by the National Library of Australia as The Angry Penguin.
Harris was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. The Alumni Association of Adelaide University awarded him the title of "Father of Modernism in the Australian Arts".
Harris was the father of journalist and columnist Samela Harris.
Richard Flanagan makes reference to Harris in his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North .
Ernest Lalor "Ern" Malley was a fictitious poet and the central figure in Australia's most famous literary hoax, known as the Ern Malley hoax or the Ern Malley affair. He and his entire body of work were created in one day in 1943 by conservative writers James McAuley and Harold Stewart in order to hoax members of the Angry Penguins, a modernist art and literary movement centered around a journal of the same name, co-edited by poet Max Harris and art patron John Reed, of Heide, Melbourne.
Robert William Geoffrey Gray is an Australian poet, freelance writer, and critic. He has been described as "an Imagist without a rival in the English-speaking world" and "one of the contemporary masters of poetry in English".
The Heide Circle was a loose grouping of Australian artists who lived and worked at "Heide", a former dairy farm on the Yarra River floodplain at Bulleen, a suburb of Melbourne, counting amongst their number many of Australia's best-known modernist painters.
Angry Penguins was an art and literary journal founded in 1940 by surrealist poet Max Harris, at the age of 18. Originally based in Adelaide, the journal moved to Melbourne in 1942 once Harris joined the Heide Circle, a group of avant-garde painters and writers who stayed at Heide, a property owned by art patrons John and Sunday Reed. Angry Penguins subsequently became associated with, and stimulated, an art movement that would later be known by the same name. Key figures of the movement include Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, Joy Hester and Albert Tucker.
Christopher Keith Wallace-Crabbe is an Australian poet and emeritus professor in the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne.
James Phillip McAuley was an Australian academic, poet, journalist, literary critic and a prominent convert to Roman Catholicism. He was involved in the Ern Malley poetry hoax.
Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature.
Dr Reginald Spencer Ellery (1897–1955), was a pioneer in the practice of psychiatry in Melbourne, Australia. He was also noted as an autobiographer, memoirist, communist, and poet.
Harold Frederick Stewart was an Australian poet and oriental scholar. He is chiefly remembered alongside fellow poet James McAuley as a co-creator of the Ern Malley literary hoax.
John Harford Reed was an Australian art editor and patron, notable for supporting and collecting of Australian art and culture with his wife Sunday Reed.
The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry is a major anthology of twentieth century Australian poetry. Edited by poets Philip Mead and John Tranter it was published by Penguin Australia in 1991. Aside from the usual criticisms any such anthology will produce, it raised some eyebrows at the time for its inclusion of all the Ern Malley hoax poems. It might be claimed there is no accepted canon of contemporary Australian poetry and this book is the selection of its editors.
Geoffrey Piers Henry Dutton AO was an Australian author and historian.
My Life as a Fake is a 2003 novel by Australian writer Peter Carey based on the Ern Malley hoax of 1943, in which two poets created a fictitious poet, Ern Malley, and submitted poems in his name to the literary magazine Angry Penguins.
Adoré Floupette is the collective pseudonym of French authors Henri Beauclair and Gabriel Vicaire used for their 1885 literary spoof titled Les Déliquescences d'Adoré Floupette, a collection of poems satirising French symbolism and the Decadent movement.
Sir Sidney Robert Nolan was one of Australia's leading artists of the 20th century. Working in a wide variety of mediums, his oeuvre is among the most diverse and prolific in all of modern art. He is best known for his series of paintings on legends from Australian history, most famously Ned Kelly, the bushranger and outlaw. Nolan's stylised depiction of Kelly's armour has become an icon of Australian art.
Jeff Guess is an Australian poet. He has published ten poetry collections, written two textbooks on teaching poetry and edited numerous poetry anthologies. He has won many first prizes for his poetry and been awarded five writing grants, and is often on judging panels for major poetry competitions, including the John Bray Award.
This article presents a list of the historical events and publications of Australian literature during 1944.
This article presents a list of the historical events and publications of Australian literature during 1958.
Mary Maydwell Martin was an Australian bookseller, founder of the Mary Martin Bookshop.
Sun Books was an Australian publisher of paperback books, founded in Melbourne in 1965 by Geoffrey Dutton, Max Harris and Brian Stonier. Sun's three founders were all former employees of Penguin Australia who, having grown frustrated by the latter's tepid interest in home-grown content, had resigned in order to establish the imprint, envisioned as a publisher of “quality paperbacks for the sophisticated Australian reader ”, and a platform for local literary talent. Prior to its acquisition by Macmillan in 1981, Sun had published over 330 titles, of which 187 were first editions.
O those dawn-waders, cold-sea-gazers, The long-shanked ibises that on the Nile Told one hushed peasant of rebirth Move in a calm immortal frieze On the mausoleum of my incestuous And self-fructifying death.Cite journal requires