Kenneth Slessor

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Date of Birth March 27, 1901
Place of Birth Australia
Date of Death Jun 30, 1971 (70)
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Kenneth Slessor

Kenneth Adolphe Slessor was an Australian poet, journalist and official war correspondent in World War II. He was one of Australia's leading poets, notable particularly for the absorption of modernist influences into Australian poetry. The Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry is named after him.

Born: March 27, 1901, Orange, New South Wales, Australia
Died: June 30, 1971, North Sydney, New South Wales
Occupation: Poet, journalist
Nationality: Australian
Education: Mowbray House School, Sydney Church of England Grammar School
Years active: 1924–1970
Spouses: Noëla Glasson (m. 1922, dec'd. 1945), Pauline Wallace (m. 1951, dis. 1961)
Children: Paul Slessor

About Kenneth Slessor

Australian modernist poet known for Cuckooz Contrey, Earth Visitors, One Hundred Poems, and other poetry collections. Also a journalist, he worked as a World War II correspondent for the Sydney Sun.

Before Fame

He published his first poem at age sixteen, while he was a student at Sydney Church of England Grammar School. He published his first poetry collection, Thief of the Moon, in 1924.


His best-known poems -- "Five Bells" and "Beach Burial" -- were written during the World War II years.

Family Life

He was born in New South Wales, Australia, and he spent a portion of his childhood in England. He married Noela Glasson in August of 1922.


He was a literary contemporary of New Zealand-born poet Allen Curnow.

Information related to Kenneth Slessor

  • Kenneth Slessor Category
  • Australian war correspondents
  • People educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School
  • Australian male poets
  • 20th-century Australian poets
  • Australian Officers of the Order of the British Empire
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Latest information about Kenneth Slessor updated on October 28, 2020.

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