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Gary Catalano

1947 – 2002

Gary Catalano (1947-2002), poet and critic, was educated at Sydney’s Trinity Grammar and worked in a variety of jobs before a series of Australia Council grants in the late 1970s enabled him to devote himself full-time to writing. He had started to write poetry in his late teens, and was in his twenties when his first book reviews began to appear in The Bulletin. In 1973 he became Art Critic for Art and Australia magazine, and later wrote art criticism for the Melbourne Age. His first book of poetry, Remembering the Rural Life, appeared in 1978. As an art and poetry critic he had articles published in France, Britain, Canada and the US. His critical works include The Years of Hope: Australian Art and Criticism 1959-1968 (1980) and a biography of Rick Amor entitled The Solitary Watcher: Rick Amor and his Art (2001). In the last decade of his life Catalano turned away from regular critical work to focus on writing poetry, of which he published four volumes between 1991 and 1998, including The Empire of Grass, joint winner of the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry in 1992. His last volume of poetry was Jigsaw: Poems and Prose Poems (1998).

Updated 2018