Denis Kevans is Australia's Poet Lorikeet. He has written well over 1,000 poems, songs and satires and has won more than 50 prizes for poems and songs.
His titles, if not his name, are a bye-word among the Australian people. Titles like 'The Slouch of Vietnam', 'The Great Prawn War', 'Shoulda Been A Champion', 'The Roar of the Crowd', 'City of Green' & 'The Woodchip Man'
Frank Hardy says of him:
Denis Kevans is the alternative poet par excellence. He is neither published in fashionable editions, nor set in schools, yet he reaches a wider audience than most poets; his thoughtful open face is more widely known than the face of most other poets for he has recited face-to-face with over a hundred thousand people (apart from frequent recitals on alternative radio); his name does not warrant even a mention in the poetry section of The Oxford History of Australian Literature but he writes better than many poets whose names do; although his themes are usually the serious concerns of humanity, his comic and satirical poems are often uproariously funny (someone said: "Denis is the funniest poet since Dennis."); while he is often unashamedly propagandist, he always retains a high level of poetic quality and imagery.
Denis' book (The Great Prawn War) was an inspiration to The Oils. - Peter Garrett
All the time I find myself looking for sincerity, and I found it in you. - Dorothy Butler
You never were a lime-lighter. - Jack Mundey
He's brilliant! - Kel Richards
I wish I had written 'Ah, White Man, Have You Any Sacred Sites?' - Kevin Gilbert (Koori poet & artist)
Fancy writing a song like that (Shoulda Been a Champion). - Ian "Macca" MacNamara (ABC Radio)
I thought Denis Kevans was brilliant - Senator Norm Sanders
What did the bastard ever do but write a few poems! - The Paddo Colt
Many of his poems have been set to music and performed by Denis & others including:
'Harrisburg' (Midnight Oil)
'Albert Namatjira' (Sirocco)
'Gentle are these people' (Pat Menz)
'Century of the Child' (Pat Menz, Margaret Bradford & others)
'Woodchip Man' (John Dengate)
'Learn all their songs sweet lyrebird' (Sonia Bennett)
'The Wollemi Pine' (Sonia Bennett)
'City of Green' (Kate Fagan)
'Green Ban Fusiliers'
'Moss's Gentle Fingers'
His published works include:
'A Forest of Crutches' (ABC radio documentary)
'The Poetry of Henry Weston Pryce' (a thesis)
'Swy' (A Street Opera Libretto - Music: John Meredith)
'Under Concrete & Glass' (a play)
'The Great Prawn War & other poems'
'Ah, white man, have you any sacred sites?' (1985)
'Will you write it down for me' (ABC radio series with Chris Lawrence)
'The Bastard Who Squashed the Grapes in Me Bag' (1991)
'300 Funny Little Poems (1998)
'Rebel Chorus' (Larrikin)
'I Called Him A Worship, Your Bastard!' (Currency)
'Trains of Treasure' (Railway Unions)
'Australia All Over - Macc No. 4' (ABC Polygram)
'The Songbird & The Lorikeet' (Radio Manly-Warringah)
'Shoulda been a champion' (with Vinegar Hill - 1996)
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