Vale Robert Adamson, poet of the Hawkesbury River

Adamson was widely feted in his five-decade career as a poet, publisher and editor.

One of Australia’s most respected poets, Robert Adamson, died on 16 December, aged 79. Known as the ‘poet of the Hawkesbury River’ due to the area north-west of Sydney providing the inspiration and life force of his work, Adamson was born on 17 May 1943 in Sydney and grew up in Neutral Bay, NSW.

Publishing his first book in 1970, he produced 21 poetry collections during his lifetime, with international publication in the US and the UK. In a career spanning five decades, Adamson was garlanded with many literary awards, including the Patrick White Prize, the Christopher Brennan Award and the Blake Prize.

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Thuy On is the Reviews and Literary Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her debut, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was released by University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). Her second collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Her third book, Essence, will be published in 2025. Twitter: @thuy_on Instagram: poemsbythuy