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Ronald McCuaig Ronald McCuaig i(A11807 works by)
Also writes as: Swilliam ; Swilliam Blake Swilliam ; Swilliam Jonson Swilliam ; Swilliam Swaller Swilliam ; Swilliam Shakespear Swilliam ; Swilliam Le Marvell Swilliam ; Swilliam Wyatt Swilliam ; Svilliam Swilliam ; McQuaig Ronald McQuaig ; R. McC. ; McCuaig
Born: Established: 2 Apr 1908 Newcastle, Newcastle - Hunter Valley area, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 1 Mar 1993 Sydney, New South Wales,
Gender: Male
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Ronald McCuaig began writing for radio in 1927 and worked for Wireless Weekly throughout the next decade. During World War II he worked for the ABC and for Smith's Weekly, and was later a special writer for the Sydney Morning Herald. In 1949 he joined the editorial staff of the Bulletin, to whose Red Page, as 'Swilliam', he contributed many articles of literary criticism and theatre reviews, and much topical verse. He later also became the Bulletin's fiction editor.

McCuaig's published poetry includes Vaudeville (1938), which contains the best of his serious work, The Wanton Goldfish (1941), and the collections Quod Ronald McCuaig (1946) and The Ballad of Bloodthirsty Bessie (1961). He also wrote short stories and essays (Tales Out of Bed, 1944) and Australia and the Arts (1972), as well as two children's books. Some of his poems were set to music by George Dreyfus (Music in the Air, [1961?]).

After the resounding success of The Ballad of Bloodthirsty Bessie, McCuaig looked poised to take up an important place in the post-war poetry scene, but a long poetic silence ensued. However, his Selected Poems (1992) confirms that he was a highly original, avant-garde and versatile poet, master of both a seventeenth century mode of conceits and madrigals, and a colloquial and satirical style that is strongly modern. Before he died, McCuaig was awarded a NSW State Special Award for his contribution to Australian literature.

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Known archival holdings

Albinski 139
Last amended 7 Oct 2008 10:18:03
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