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Simon West (poet)

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Name  Simon West

Role  Poet
Simon West (poet) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Books  First Names, The Yellow Gum's Conversion

Simon West ( born 1974) is an Australian poet. He is the author of two books of poetry and a translation and critical edition of the Italian poet Guido Cavalcanti. He lives in Melbourne, where he works as a translator and Italianist.


Simon West (poet) Simon West Mascara Literary Review


Simon West was born in Melbourne in 1974. He grew up in Melbourne and Shepparton. He was educated at the University of Melbourne where he received the chancellor's prize in 2004 for his PhD in Italian Literature. He has lived for long periods in Turin and Rome and returns to Italy frequently. He was a lecturer in Italian studies 2007–2010 at Monash University, and he is now an honorary research fellow in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. He is married with one daughter.


West's poetry, written to "scrutinize the actual world", is characterised by the presence of both the Australian and Italian landscapes. For Barry Hill in The Weekend Australian "his poems invoke the mouthing of words, love affairs with vowels, a sense of the foreign word well digested. The mood of his Italian landscapes reminds me of the modem Italian poet Eugenio Montale, just as his two poems after Guido Cavalcanti, along with the imagist lyrics that follow, call up the figure of Ezra Pound, that passionate disciple of Italy." Later he writes, "West's graphic power is wonderful, so that you feel, in all of his language moments, of this world."

Martin Duwell in Australian Poetry Review has noted "a genuine fascination with the word, its sound, almost its taste in the mouth [and] that fascination continually alters the path of what might be, otherwise, predictable poems. The first poem in [First Names], 'Mushrooms' … demonstrates this theme of the tactility of language."


  • West, Simon (2006). First Names. Glebe, N.S.W.: Puncher & Wattmann. ISBN 9780975240526. 
  • West, Simon (2011). The Yellow Gum's Conversion. Glebe, N.S.W.: Puncher & Wattmann. ISBN 9781921450488. 
  • West, Simon (2015). The Ladder. Glebe, N.S.W.: Puncher & Wattmann. ISBN 9781922186768. 
  • Anthologies

  • Plunkett, Felicity (editor) (2011). Thirty Australian poets. St Lucia, Qld., Australia: University of Queensland Press. pp. 255–262. ISBN 9780702239144. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Leonard, John (editor) (2011). Young Poets: An Australian Anthology. Melbourne: John Leonard Press. pp. 133–134. ISBN 9780980852332. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Critical edition with translations

  • West, Simon (2009). The Selected Poetry of Guido Cavalcanti : a Critical English Edition. Leicester: Troubador. ISBN 9781906510725. 
  • Essays on poetry

  • West, Simon (2013). "As if We were God's Spies: Poetry out of Nothing". The AALITRA Review. Melbourne: Monash University (6): 28–33. 
  • West, Simon. "Alla ricerca di un vernacolo eloquente: appunti sulla poesia australiana contemporanea". Testo a fronte: teoria e pratica della traduzione letteraria. Milan: Marcos y Marcos. 2012 (46). 
  • West, Simon. "These Living Walls of Jet: Visiting the Open Houses of Poetry". Cordite May 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  • West, Simon. "The World is but a Word: or An Answer to the Question, What is your Poetry About?". So Long Bulletin September 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  • West, Simon. "Hautes Fenêtres: Thoughts on the Place of Translation in Recent Australian Poetry". Australian Book Review. July–August 2011. 
  • Occasional reviews

  • West, Simon. "Great Poem Hoax: On Gwen Harwood". Sydney Review of Books. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  • West, Simon. "Pier Paolo Pasolini, Selected Poetry". The Weekend Australian 22 November 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  • West, Simon. "Collected Poems of Lesbia Harford". The Weekend Australian 25 October 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  • West, Simon. "Robert Frost: No Caviar for a Sound Poet". The Weekend Australian 24 May 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  • West, Simon. "The Fear of Foreign Sounds: Linda Jaivin’s Quarterly Essay". The Weekend Australian 4 January 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  • West, Simon. "Public Voice of Solitary Thinker: Italo Calvino". The Weekend Australian 26 October 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  • West, Simon. "The beautiful unhappiness of Italy's greatest romantic". The Weekend Australian 19 March 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  • Awards

  • 2016 The Ladder shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award for poetry
  • 2014 Australian Poetry Inc. Poetry Tour of Ireland
  • 2012 The Yellow Gum's Conversion shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards
  • 2012 Australia Council for the Arts' B. R. Whiting Studio Residency in Rome
  • 2011 Arts Victoria Arts Development Grant for Literature
  • 2009–10 Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship
  • 2007 First Names shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards
  • 2007 William Baylebridge Memorial Prize for First Names
  • 2007 FAW Anne Elder Award – First Names commended
  • 2004 University of Melbourne, Chancellor's Prize for È tant'e dritta e simigliante cosa: Translating the Poetry of Guido Cavalcanti.
  • 2004 Australian Young Poets Fellowship – Australian Poets Union
  • 2002 Emma Grollo Memorial Scholarship – University of Melbourne
  • 2001 H. B. Higgins Scholarship for Poetry – University of Melbourne
  • Video

    Simon West reads in the Keats–Shelley House, Rome, 21 July 2012.


    Simon West (poet) Wikipedia

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