Nicholson, Peter 1950-

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NICHOLSON, Peter 1950-

PERSONAL: Born 1950, in Waverley, New South Wales, Australia; son of Frank and Patricia Alice (Field) Nicholson. Education: Armidale Teachers' College, graduated, 1971; Macquarie University, B.A. (with honors), 1978. Hobbies and other interests: Music, art, and cinema.

ADDRESSES: Home—Sydney, Australia. Agent—c/o Author Mail, P.O. Box 305, Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia 1585. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER: Poet and writer.


A Temporary Grace, Wellington Lane Press (McMahons Point, New South Wales, Australia), 1991.

Such Sweet Thunder, Wellington Lane Press (McMahons Point, New South Wales, Australia), 1994.

A Dwelling Place, Wellington Lane Press (Neutral Bay, New South Wales, Australia), 1997.

Also author of poetry collections, including At the Water's Edge, Views to a Bridge, Shadow of a Doubt, Prometheus, S.S Snakebite, Speech to a Mountain, New Affection, and New Noise. Author of Fast Forward (included in A Temporary Grace) and Orpheus Ascending: A Reassessment of Wagner and Wagnerism.

SIDELIGHTS: The author of three poetry collections published in his native Australia, Peter Nicholson was praised by Mark O'Flynn in the Australian Book Review for his 1994 collection Such Sweet Thunder: "The poems themselves are sometimes incandescent. There is a strong sense of rhythm and linguistic verve … caustic and uncompromisingly political … joyfulness and a celebration of language … concerned with raising the mundane to a finer sensibility." Detached from theory and ideology, yet clearly aware of the conflicting political and aesthetic faultlines that underlie society and culture, Nicholson intuits the ambivalent instincts of our time in poetry whose thematic and rhetorical emphasis is by turns lyrical and satirical, elegiac and celebratory. In the wake of tremendous artistic, scientific, and technological change, Nicholson once commented that he wants his poetry to be "feeling that thinks" about the word and the world, and the human factor that links them. Reviewing A Dwelling Place. for the Australian Book Review, Michael Costigan wrote that Nicholson is an "adroit phrase-maker" who "emerges with this collection as a significant and versatile figure in the crowded world of Australian poets born in the decade after World War II."

Of his work, Nicholson noted in an "Notebook" posted on his Web site: "I like to think the poetry I write is working its way towards an answer, a partial answer to the questions poetic instinct proposes. Sometimes the questions are answered negatively, sometimes satirically, sometimes joyfully. I hope I'm open to the art, the science and the politics about me, and that these interests are reflected in my work."



Australian Book Review, June, 1994, Mark O'Flynn, review of Such Sweet Thunder, pp. 51-52; August, 1997, Michael Costigan, review of A Dwelling Place, pp. 50-52.

Canberra Times, February 29, 1992, Peter Pierce, review of A Temporary Grace, p. 7.

Overland, winter, 1995, Kevin Brophy, review of Such Sweet Thunder, pp. 74-76.

Sydney Morning Herald, February 5, 1998, p. 11.


Peter Nicholson Web site, (January 6, 2004).

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Nicholson, Peter 1950-

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