Thomas Shapcott was born in Ipswich, Queensland, in 1935. He has published 15 collections of poems, as well as eight novels and over 20 libretti. Translations of his work in book form have been published in Hungary, Romania and the Republic of Macedonia. He was Director of the Literature Board of the Australia Council 1983–90; Executive Director of the National Book Council 1991–97; and the inaugural Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide 1997–2005. In 1989 he was awarded an Order of Australia for services to literature and in 2000 he won the Patrick White Award. The Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize was named in his honour. He lives in Melbourne.