David Brooks was educated in Canberra and graduated from the Australian National University in 1974. He then studied overseas for several years until returning in 1981 to teach at the Royal Military College at Duntroon. In that year, he completed his Ph.D. (on Ezra Pound's early Cantos) from the University of Toronto.
In 1982 he moved to Perth to teach for three years at the University of Western Australia. He returned to the ANU in 1986 as a lecturer and in 1991 took a position at the University of Sydney, becoming a senior lecturer there in 1992.
Since his days as a student, Brooks has retained active involvement with poetry publications such as New poetry and Poetry Australia, Westerly and Southerly as an editor, reviewer, adviser and/or contributor. He has also been a reader for publishers and has contributed regular literary columns and reviews to newspapers and journals. Brooks was the co-founder of Open Door Press.
David Brooks has maintained close links with a number of leading literary contemporaries and has been involved with committees organising many literary events including the Sydney Festival Writers' Week. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Eleanor Dark Foundation, was the Chair of the NSW Literature Awards in 1993, and participated on the management committee of the NSW Writers Centre.
With Slovenian poet Bert Pribac (q.v.) Brooks translated poetry by Slovenian poet Srecko Kosovel(1904-1926), published as The Golden Boat : Selected Poems of Srecko Kosovel (2008).
Brooks has travelled and lectured extensively overseas - including in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and China. His papers are held by the National Library of Australia. (MS8075)
'Open House reveals David Brooks' award-winning talent as a writer and imaginative scholar. The poems in this volume take a number of forms, drifting between nature and philosophy, evoking a meditative quality that is both contemplative and full of grace. Spare and honed, Brooks' poems range in scale, from investigations into microscopic detail observing the smallest creatures and textures underfoot - stepped over, left in peace in the harmonious 'open house' - to the telescopic, revealing the smallness of human endeavour from a thoughtful distance.
'This much anticipated new volume is at once powerful, resonant and unreserved.' (Publication summary)
The Conversation2012single work novel 'Two strangers meet in a restaurant in a piazza in the Italian city of Trieste. Stephen, an Australian engineer living in Paris, and Irena, an Italian translator, share a meal and exchange stories in an atmosphere of geniality and refinement.
'As the story gradually unfolds in conversation, the reader is treated to Brooks' effortless reflections on culture, language, history, art, love and desire, and all of the thoughts and sensations that strike an Australian in Europe. The play of culture, philosophy and food is reminiscent of John Lanchester's brilliant The Debt to Pleasure. The chapter titles, Antipasti, followed by Primi Piatti, and Insalata etc., add to the atmosphere of delightful indulgence.' (From the publisher's website.)
'The Sons of Clovis ... begins with the Ern Malley affair, establishing previously unrecognised connections between the Australian scene and French symboliste poetry, before embarking on a fascinating journey through literature, culture, and poetics.' (Publisher's website)