James McAuley

James Phillip McAuley (191776), poet, critic, academic, founding editor of Quadrant, was born at Lakemba, New South Wales, and educated at the University of Sydney. After war service, he lectured at the Australian School of Pacific Administration. Appointed Reader in Poetry at the University of Tasmania in 1960, the next year he became Professor of English.

McAuley was one of the perpetrators of the notorious Ern Malley hoax (1944). Under Aldebaran (1946) established the two main lines of his work: poems, often satirical, concerned with the condition of Australia and the poet's responsibilities; and personal lyrics, often struggling with uncertainties. After his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1952, poems and hymns celebrated his gains in faith. Political activist, anti-communist intellectual, McAuley's most personal lyrics appeared in his last years.

Further reading: L Kramer (ed), James McAuley, Brisbane, 1988; ADB vol 15.

Vivian Smith