Thomas ShapcottThomas Shapcott

Harold White Fellowship Research Topic :
Professor Shapcott examined the papers of Ray Mathew, to prepare editions of his poetry and prose works.


Thomas Shapcott was born in Ipswich, Queensland, in 1935. He completed an Arts degree at the University of Queensland in 1961, after working as an accountant for some years. He became a full-time writer in 1978. He was Director of the Literature Board of the Australia Council 1983-1990, and Executive Director of the National Book Council 1991-1997.
Tom Shapcott was more recently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide.
During his career Shapcott has written poetry, novels, dramas, reviews and short stories.

More detailed biographical notes from the University of Western Australia.


Home page at the University of Adelaide.


1989 Order of Australia, for services to literature and arts administration.
1961 Grace Leven Poetry Prize, for Time on Fire.
1967 Sir Thomas White Memorial Prize (best book by an Australian) and Myer Charity Trust Award, for A Taste of Salt Water.
1978 Canada-Australia Literary Award.
1989 Struga Golden Wreath award from the Struga Poetry Readings Festival.
1995 Christopher Brennan Award from the Fellowship of Australian Writers.
1996 Wesley Michael Wright Prize for Poetry.
2000 Patrick White Award.
There is also an Arts Queensland award, the Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, named in honour of Thomas Shapcott.


Selected works
Shapcott, Thomas. Adelaide lunch sonnets. Tom Shapcott, 2006.
Shapcott, Thomas. Spirit wrestlers. Wakefield Press, 2004.
Shapcott, Thomas. Music circus and other poems. Warners Bay, NSW : Picaro Press, 2004.
Shapcott, Thomas. Beginnings and endings : sonnets. Warners Bay, NSW : Picaro Press, 2003.
Shapcott, Tom. Twins in the family : interviews with Australian twins. South Melbourne : Lothian Books, 2001.
Shapcott, Thomas. Chekhov's mongoose. Applecross, WA : Salt Publishing, 2000.

Manuscript collections of Thomas Shapcott papers are held at :
National Library of Australia - MS 5577, Papers of Thomas Shapcott.
Australian Defence Force Academy Library - MS 114, Guide to the papers of Thomas Shapcott.
University of Queensland Library - UQFL 56 - Guide to the papers of Thomas Shapcott.

The National Library holds an oral history interview with Thomas Shapcott, recorded in 2005, with interviewer Ann-Mari Jordens, as well as a recording of Shapcott reading some of his poetry.

Contact Details

PO Box 231
Mont Albert Vic 3127


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