The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.
Descended from Irish convicts and Danish immigrants, Kerry Leves published poetry and prose in various magazines, newspapers and anthologies as well as in his own selected works. In the early 1980s he lived and worked in India before returning to Australia and working as a teacher of English as a Second Language.
At the time of his death, Leves was close to completing a doctoral thesis on Randolph Stow (q.v.).
For information about this author's works for children not included in AustLit, see Australian Children's Books by Marcie Muir and Kerry White (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1992-2003).
Overland magazine published a memorial blog in honour of Kerry Leves. It can be found at: http://web.overland.org.au/2011/06/a-kerry-leves-memorial/ Overland's poetry editor, Peter Minter (q.v.) begins the blog by recognising Leves as 'man of great heart, spirit and intellect, and long-term friend and contributor to Overland'.
'Is it flowers? Women plait them into their hair; truckies flower their driving-cabins for long dusty journeys...
'Is it colour? Emerald green ricefields; or the sun's gold flare on an egret's wing as it rises? Is it the yellow of mustard flowers, or the gaudy spectrum of a street festooned with movie posters? Is it Varanasi - the country's spiritual heart, some say - where pilgrims dunk themselves in the great Ganges River; or Tirupati, pilgrimage place of the south, a thousand steps up a mountain?
'Or is it Arunachala, also in the south, where the sage Ramana Maharshi taught "self inquiry"? (Ask, he said, who inquires?) If Ramana's "self inquiry" suggests a meditator's silence, it may also be relevant to ask, "Who sings?", since music and song permeate India.
'The voice of Lata Mangeshkar, honoured and revered playback singer of over five thousand Indian films, seems to express the soul of India. These poems attempt a tribute. The poet, short-story writer and novelist Vicki Viidikas pitchforked Kerry Leves into India. Together they travelled down, up and across the country. They didn't do it "posh". Out of the travelling came these poems of Kerry's: an outsider's inside journey.' (Publisher's blurb)