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Paul Magee is Professor of Poetry at the University of Canberra, where he directs the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research (CCCR).

Paul studied in Melbourne, Moscow, San Salvador and Sydney. A historian by training, Paul writes poems and works of cross-disciplinary humanities scholarship. The latter range from studies of the links between the composition of speech in everyday conversation and the composition of poems, work on the relationship between art and knowledge, and critiques of the concepts of national identity and belonging.

Paul has published four books. From Here to Tierra del Fuego (2000) is a historical monograph on travel, colonisation and the fantastic in Chilean and Argentinian Tierra del Fuego. Paul's first book of poems,Cube Root of Book (2006), was shortlisted in the Innovation category of the 2008 Adelaide Festival Awards for literature. His second, Stone Postcard (2014),  was named in Australian Book Review as one of the books of the year for 2014. Suddenness and the Composition of Poetic Thought (2022) was  based on Paul's work as a Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council funded Discovery Project Understanding Creative Excellence: A Case Study in Poetry (2013-6), which involved interviews with 80 celebrated Anglophone poets. The work focusses on poetic composition, with an eye to what cognitive science, linguistics, ethnography and philosophy have to reveal about the 2-3 second in which each new phrase emerges.

Paul's current research project, jointly funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Global Challenges Research Fund, is We Come from the Past: Indigeneity, Orality and the Flow of Culture . Part of the Imagining Futures research network, it involves collaboration with two other poet-academics, Jen Crawford and Paul Collis (Barkindji), along with 6 Barkindji, Kunya and Nyemba people in outback New South Wales. The team are composing a book entirely by speaking it. Chapters have to date appeared in the journals Meanjin, Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History, and Cordite Poetry Review. 

Paul's third collection of poems, The Arranging of Skin, is forthcoming with Puncher and Wattman in late 2024.


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Technology Sydney

Award Date: 1 Dec 2004

Master, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 1 Dec 1997

Bachelor, BA (Hons), University of Melbourne

Award Date: 1 Dec 1994


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