Tony Wilson has chosen Clive James as his necessary poet, noting that James has delighted and inspired him for decades. First drawn to his lively prose, more recently Wilson has became moved by his poetry, particularly his death poems. He shares three of these with us: ‘Japanese Maple’ a poem about death in relation to nature; ‘Silent Sky’, a poem about the death of James’ great friend Peter Porter – which resonates powerfully after the death of Tony’s own best friend – and finally, ‘Return of the Kogarah Kid’, suggested by James as potential words for his own memorial plaque in Dawes Point, Sydney.
‘Japanese Maple’, Sentenced to Life, Liveright, 2015
‘Silent Sky’, Nefertiti in the Flak Tower, PanMacmillan, 2012
‘Return of the Kogarah Kid’, New Statesman, 8 August 2016
Unreliable Memoirs, Picador, 1980
Tony Wilson is a ‘poet’ of the rhyming kids story book kind. His title The Cow Tripped Over the Moon is a bestseller, and a CBCA Honour Book for 2016. His other verse titles include The Thirsty Flowers and Emo the Emu. Tony is a lover of speeches and the spoken word, and started the website Speakola, which features famous speeches, famous or otherwise. Tony has also appeared on television and radio.