16 May 2019
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Les Murray, widely considered Australia's greatest poet, died on April 29 aged 80. Born in 1938, he published almost 30 volumes of poetry, winning the Queen's Gold Medal in 1998, and the 1996 TS Eliot Prize for his book Subhuman Redneck Poems.
Murray was frequently mentioned as a likely candidate for a Nobel Prize, and his work was known for its lyricism and humour.
He caused a minor controversy in 2013 when he criticised the Australian Citizenship Affirmation – a pledge of allegiance taken by new citizens. Murray had written the pledge himself in 1992, but claimed it had been rewritten by bureaucrats, describing the final version as "heavy and pompous and sort of farting with sincerity".
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