BIOGRAPHY Born in Armidale, New South Wales (Australia). Eldest child of Phillip and Ethel Wright (parents divorced). After early death of her mother, Wright attended New England Girl’s School Wright also studied philosophy, English, Psychology, and history at the University of Sydney. Moved to Mount Tamborine, Queensland in 1950. She married Jack McKinney (philosopher and novelist) in 1962.
BIOGRAPHY CONT. Wright became completely deaf in 1992. Well-known for campaigning support for the Great Barrier Reef and Fraser Island. Advocate for the Aboriginal land rights movement. She died in Canberra on June 26, 2000 (85).
CAREER Wright’s first book of poetry, The Moving Image, was published in 1946. Founding member and President (1964-1976) of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland. Second Australian to receive Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, in 1992. She worked as an honors tutor in English at the University of Queensland. In the 1960s, she became involved in political action, including the antiwar movement, Australia’s conservationist movement, and the movement to change the treatment of the country’s Aboriginal people.
AWARDS 1950-Grace Leven Prize 1964-Australia-Britannica Award 1977-Robert Frost Memorial Award 1984-Australian World Prize 1992-Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 1994-Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission Poetry Award, for Collected Poems
MAJOR WORKS The Moving Image Woman to Man The Gateway The Two Fires Birds The Other Half Magpies Shadow
THEMES/SUBJECTS Australian environment Relationships between settlers and Australians Relationships between mankind and the environment. Connections with “human experience and natural world.” Bridging the gap between nature and man.
SOURCES Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar. The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Traditions in English. 3rd ed. Vol. 2. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2007. 722. Print Samuels, Selina. Australian Writers, 1915-1950. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2002. 416-27. Print.