British poet Peter Porter dies at age 81

Friday, April 23, 2010

Peter Porter, an Australian-born British poet, has died at the age of 81 after suffering from liver cancer for a year. The poet was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1929 and moved to London, England in 1951. His first collection of works, entitled "Once Bitten, Twice Bitten", was first published in 1961. He went on to become a broadcaster, reviewer, journalist and a full-time poet in the year 1968.

Porter created "The Cost of Seriousness" in 1978, after his first wife committed suicide in 1974. Some of the prizes he won for his creations included the Duff Cooper prize, the Forward prize — for "Max is Missing" — the Whitbread poetry award and the Queen's Gold Medal for poetry. "Afterburner", created by Peter in 2004, was also shortlisted for a T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. One of his latest collections, "Better than God", was on the shortlist for the Forward Prize in 2009.

Anthony Thwaite, another English poet, a friend and a colleauge to Peter Porter, stated that he "never quite knew where he belonged". He stated: "In Australia he was considered English, and in England he was considered Australian. He sort of floated." Thwaite would describe Porter as "one of the finest poets of our time".