AustLit logo
Richard Tipping Richard Tipping i(A3864 works by) (a.k.a. Kelly Tipping; Richard Kelly Tipping; R.J.O. Tipping)
Born: Established: 1949 Adelaide, South Australia, ;
Gender: Male
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.


Formerly a psychiatric nurse, Richard Tipping studied literature, philosophy and media during the late 1960s and early 1970s at Flinders University. He was a co-founder of the Friendly Street poetry readings in Adelaide in 1977, and edited their first anthology. He worked for the South Australian Film Corporation for three years, then moved to Sydney. Living in Europe for several years, he interviewed expatriate Australian writers and began a series of documentary films on Australian writers (the Writers Talking series).

In 1989 he moved to Newcastle. In addition to his work as a lecturer in communication and media at the University of Newcastle, Tipping has been active in several of the creative arts. He is also recognised as a sculptor and artist, and his work can be found in many public galleries. He has staged a number of well-received exhibitions, and has created large-scale installations for several Australian art festivals. He describes his work as 'concrete poetry', showing appreciation of words and letters for their aesthetic appeal as art objects. His Imagine Silence at the Greenaway Art Gallery (2007), for example, is a series of eight four-line poems engraved in basalt blocks.

Tipping often presents his poetry in original formats. During performances of his poems, he might accompany himself on banjo-ukulele, jaw harp or didgeridoo. His expertise with the photographic form sometimes blends with his poetry work, producing 'photo-poems' as a result, and he has published works on Australian public signs.

Tipping's poems are often comprised of short lines, and his spare writing style creates a staccato effect when the poems are read aloud. Often satirical in approach and political in content, Tipping's poetry has been called 'witty, inventive and lively' by the Oxford Companion to Australian Literature. Tipping's poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals, both in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Tipping won the Harri Jones Memorial Award in 1972, and has been the recipient of several grants from the Commonwealth Literature Fund, the Literary Board and the Visual Arts Board.

Most Referenced Works


  • Tipping compiled a series of volumes which he titled the 'In Public' series: 'RKT 66-79 In Public'; 'In Public: Richard Tipping 80-82'; 'TR 83-84: In Public'; 'In Public RKT 84-88'; 'In Public: RKT 1989-mid '94'. While these were reproduced in limited numbers and are available at selected libraries, they are not separately listed here as they consist of photocopies of works published elsewhere. The last of the series, however, 'Writers Talking', while it contains Tipping's published interviews with writers, also contains some original material, and therefore has been listed.

Awards for Works

Dry Tap & Bucket i "breathe easy now :", 1970 single work poetry
— Appears in: Poetry Magazine , December vol. 18 no. 6 1970; (p. 32-38)
1970 highly commended Poetry Magazine Award

Known archival holdings

Albinski 222
National Library of Australia (ACT)
University of New South Wales Australian Defence Force Academy Australian Defence Force Academy Library (ACT)
University of Queensland University of Queensland Library (QLD)
Art Gallery of New South Wales Research Library and Archive (NSW)
Last amended 10 Oct 2019 14:07:21
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: