Born: Established: 1952 Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Robert Kenny's employment history includes working as a clerk, chainman, builder's labourer, domestic and industrial cleaner, designer, lithographic camera operator and magazine editor. Associated with the experimental poetry scene based around Melbourne's La Mama Theatre and the "Generation of '68" poets, some of Kenny's early poems appeared in the 1970 anthology Australian Poetry Now. In the early 1970s he became active in small press literary publishing. With Michael Dugan and Philip Edmonds, he founded Contempa Publications, which published collections of poetry and prose as well as the magazine Contempa. Kenny also established the imprint Ragman Productions, and founded a small press, Rigmorale of the Hours, later Rigmorale Books (ca.1974­-1986), publishing poetry by Jennifer Maiden, Laurie Duggan, Kris Hemensley, Katherine Gallagher and Anna Couani, among others. With Colin Talbot, he edited the influential anthology Applestealers (1974). In the 1970s and 1980s he wrote several works experimenting with the conventions of detective and crime fiction, including A Book of Detection (1978), and The Last Adventures of Christian Doom, Private I (1982). More recently Kenny has built a successful career as a historian. He completed a PhD in History at Latrobe University in 2003, and his subsequent book The Lamb Enters the Dreaming: Nathanael Pepper and the Ruptured World (2007) won several prizes including the prestigious Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History (joint winner, 2008). In 2008 he returned to Latrobe University as an ARC post-doctoral research fellow.