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Realist Writers Group (Organisation) assertion (1 works by fr. 1970)
Realist Writers Groups, Melbourne (Organisation) assertion
Realist Writers Groups, Sydney (Organisation) assertion (2 works by fr. 1958)
Realist Writers Groups, Brisbane (Organisation) assertion (1 works by fr. 1976)
Social Realist Writers Group (Organisation) assertion
Sydney Realist Writers' Group (Organisation) assertion (2 works by fr. 1951)
y separately published work icon The Realist Ray Williams (editor), Northbridge : Realist Writers Groups, Sydney , 1964-1970 1964 periodical (21 issues) y
y separately published work icon Realist Writer Frank Hardy (editor), Ray Williams (editor), Cremorne : Realist Writers Groups, Sydney , 1958-1963 1958-1963 periodical (13 issues) y
y separately published work icon For Peace and Friendship : Poems Bartlett Adamson , Sydney : Sydney Realist Writers' Group , 1952 1952 selected work poetry y
y separately published work icon Overland Nathan Hollier (editor), Katherine Wilson (editor), Nathan Hollier (editor), Jeff Sparrow (editor), Stephen Murray-Smith (editor), Ian Syson (editor), Barrett Reid (editor), John McLaren (editor), Jacinda Woodhead (editor), Evelyn Araluen (editor), Jonathan Dunk (editor), Overland , 1954-1988 1954 periodical (269 issues) y
y separately published work icon Realist Writer Stephen Murray-Smith (editor), Bill Wannan (editor), Melbourne : 1952-1954 1952-1954 periodical (2 issues) y
Enid Morton (a.k.a. E. Morton; E. M. Morton) (6 works by fr. 1958) Member of the Sydney Realist Writers' group.
y separately published work icon The Dreaming Vine : Poems of Peace, Women and Environment Justina Williams , Northbridge : Realist Writers Group , 1970 1970 selected work poetry y
y separately published work icon The Austrovert The Northern Austrovert Bruce Muirden (editor), Melbourne : 1950-1953 1950 periodical (10 issues) y
Archer Crawford d. 1961 (5 works by fr. 1960) Archer Crawford was a foundation member of the Sydney Realist Writers' Group and a member of the editorial board of the journal Realist Writer.
y separately published work icon Selected Poems Bartlett Adamson , Sydney : Sydney Realist Writers' Group , 1951 1951 selected work poetry y
On the Queensland Railway Lines Realist Writers Groups, Brisbane , single work poetry
— Appears in: Complete Book of Australian Folk Lore Sydney : Ure Smith , 1976 1976 (p. 186)
Stephen Murray-Smith b. 9 Sep 1922 d. 31 Jul 1988 (128 works by fr. 1946)

Stephen Murray-Smith was born and educated in Melbourne, attending Geelong Grammar and the University of Melbourne. After serving in New Guinea during World War II, he lived in London and Prague for several years before returning to Australia. Murray-Smith was a member of the Communist Party of Australia for thirteen years and was active in many organisations, including the Australian Peace Council and the Melbourne Realist Writers Group.

In 1954 Murray-Smith founded the magazine Overland and continued as its influential editor for the remainder of his life. Despite attracting little government patronage, the magazine survived its early years primarily because of Murray-Smith's enthusiasm. Established to provide a medium for working-class writers to reach a working-class audience, Overland has assisted and nurtured the careers of many Australian writers.

Murray-Smith edited a variety of books, including the extensive Dictionary of Australian Quotations (1984), and published criticism, autobiography and an account of his visit to Antarctica. He was a reader in Education at the University of Melbourne, editing the series Melbourne Studies in Education until 1982. He was made AM in 1981.

Stephen Murray-Smith died in 1988. A collection of tributes was published in Overland's October 1988 issue.

Frank Hardy b. 21 Mar 1917 d. 28 Jan 1994 (215 works by fr. 1931)

Frank Hardy was born at Southern Cross and grew up at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. Leaving school at thirteen, Hardy worked as a fruit-picker, road-construction worker, seaman, grocer and cartoonist. In 1938 Hardy moved to Melbourne and his cartoons appeared regularly in the Radio Times from 25 September 1937 until 5 March 1939. In 1939 he joined the Communist Party, responding to the suffering caused by the 1930s depression, and later became a member of the Realist Writers' group, editing the Realist Writer from 1958-1962. While serving in the army during World War II, Hardy established a camp newspaper, the Troppo Tribune, and later worked on the army magazine, Salt. After the war, he worked as a journalist in Melbourne and began writing his most well-known work, Power Without Glory (1950).

Power Without Glory received immediate attention through the charges of libel laid by Mrs Ellen Wren, who was allegedly the adulterous Nellie West of the novel. The novel is a semi-fictional account of the millionaire John Wren. John West, Hardy's character, achieves great public success, but suffers a wretched personal life, eventually dying a confused and bitter man. While critics acknowledge the novel's technical problems, it remains widely admired for its vivid descriptions of Melbourne life in the first half of the twentieth century.

Hardy wrote several more novels, most notably But the Dead Are Many (1975), and many collections of short stories. His stories often employ the form of the tall story, skilfully using the Australian idiom. The most carefully crafted stories are admired for their exploration of the Depression years in rural Victoria. From 1985 to 1993 Hardy wrote weekly columns for popular magazines, firstly for People and then for the Australasian Post.

In addition to his fiction, Hardy's plays, lectures, songs and television appearances made him a well-known public figure. This exposure was consolidated through his strong support of the Aboriginal people in their claims for land rights. Hardy continued to publish short stories in the 1980s and 1990s and saw several of his plays produced. He died in 1994.

Realist Writers Lance Loughrey , single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Short Stories , no. 37 1992 1992 (p. 61-63)
Judah Waten (a.k.a. Judah Leon Waten) b. 29 Jul 1911 d. 29 Jul 1985 (247 works by fr. 1931)

Judah Waten was born in Odessa, but soon after his birth he was taken to Palestine. The family emigrated from Czarist Russia along with many other Jewish families to escape the pogroms there earlier in the 20th century. The Waten family left Palestine for Western Australia when Waten was three years old. They moved to Melbourne at the end of 1925. He was educated at the Christian Brothers College, Perth, and at University High School, Melbourne.

Waten began to write in 1928, particularly about the unemployed. From 1931 to 1933 he lived in England and co-edited The Unemployed Worker. He resumed writing fiction in the 1940s and worked for a few years as a public servant. In 1966 he became a reviewer for the Age and, in 1970, for the Sydney Morning Herald. He was a member of the Communist Party of Australia and of the Realist Writers group.

Waten was a committee member of the Victorian branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) from 1950, and one of the founding members of the Literature Board. Originally published in English, his novels have been translated into more than ten languages. Waten's best known work is the collection of fictionalised autobiographical sketches of childhood, Alien Son (1952). He also translated from the Yiddish works by other Australian-Jewish writers.

Waten died on the date that he claimed as his birthdate, although there is some uncertainty about the exact date of birth due to differences in calendars. He commented in an interview with Suzanne Lunney (1975) published in Judah Waten: Fiction, Memoir, Criticism (1998): 'It is fixed that I was born on 29th July, it could have been two days earlier or five days later [...] I think the 29th July was the Western approximation of the Greek Orthodox or the Gregorian [calendar].'

(Source: David Carter, 'Judah Waten (29 July 1911? - 29 July 1985)', Dictionary of Literary Biography. Volume 289: Australian Writers, 1950-1975 (2004): 308-316; David Carter, 'Introduction', Judah Waten: Fiction, Memoir, Criticism (1998). ix-xxxii; David Carter A Career in Writing: Judah Waten and the Cultural Politics of a Literary Career (1997))..

(AustLit acknowledges the assistance of David Carter who has provided valuable advice and material for completing the entries on works by and about Judah Waten, including information about Waten's use of the pseudonym Matt Turner.)

The Ugly Head of Politics Bruce Muirden , single work
— Appears in: The Austrovert , no. 6 1952 1952 (p. 9)
J. S. Manifold (a.k.a. John Streeter Manifold; John Manifold; J. S. M.) b. 21 Apr 1915 d. 19 Apr 1985 (274 works by fr. 1933)

John Streeter Manifold grew up in the Western District of Victoria on two family stations: 'Purrumbete' and 'Milangil'. He was educated at Geelong Grammar School where, at the age of seventeen, he wrote a translation of a lyric by Catullus that his Classics master, Chauncy Masterman, considered the finest he had read. While still at school Manifold's first poems were collected in a small pamphlet edition, Verses 1930-1933 (printed in Geelong by G. Mercer and Company). Later, while at Jesus College, Cambridge University, his poems were included in Thirty-One Poems, published by the Spenser Society of the university in 1936. Manifold met another Australian poet, David Campbell, at Cambridge and they became friends. After graduating with a degree in modern languages (French and German), he worked as an editor-translator for a German publisher. Manifold also studied for a time at the Institut Britannique, Paris.

When the Second World War began Manifold returned to England, joined the British army and was posted to Nigeria. Later in the war he joined Intelligence, reaching the rank of Captain, and was in action in France, where he wrote without revision his best-known poem, 'The Tomb of Lieutenant John Learmonth, A.I.F.'.

Manifold had joined the Communist Party while at Cambridge. He returned to Australia with his English wife Katharine (née Hopwood) in 1949. After a brief stay in Victoria, he settled in Wynnum, Queensland, and became active in the cultural and political life of the Party. He helped found the Brisbane Realist Writers' Group in 1950. The members were mainly unionists writing for a hobby but it became a productive writers' group, partly because it had the advantage of connections with Overland, thus making publication a possibility. According to Stephen Murray-Smith, editor of Overland, Manifold 'cut off relations for many years' after the journal 'went "revisionist"'. Manifold was later closely associated with the Communist Arts Group and was a President of the Fellowship of Australian Writers, Queensland Branch.

Manifold also wrote and broadcast for the A.B.C. and worked extensively in the teaching and performance of music, the manufacture of instruments and the collection and publication of Australian ballads and folk music. He published several books in this area (particularly editions of 17th century English and French instrumental chamber music) as well as political articles, and volumes of verse and verse translations in a wide variety of journals and magazines. Manifold declared himself 'proud of my collaboration with distinguished composers of music, Alexander Jemnitz and Sandor Veress in Budapest; Daniel Gregory Mason in U.S.A.; Alan Bush and others in London; they seem to think my verse worth setting to music.'

Manifold spent the last years of his life in a nursing home and died two days short of his seventieth birthday.

(Source of quotation: biographical notes sent to H. M. Green; copy held in the Dorothy Green Collection, Special Collections, UNSW@ADFA, Canberra. See also 'Vale John Manifold' by Stephen Murray-Smith, Australian Book Review no.71, June 1985.)

John Morrison (a.k.a. John Gordon Morrison) b. 29 Jan 1904 d. 11 May 1998 (111 works by fr. 1944)

John Morrison was born in England. He left primary school at the age of fourteen to begin work, initially at the Sunderland Museum and later as a learner gardener on a private estate. Morrison came to Australia in 1923 as a government-assisted migrant. He was a bush worker for several years before settling in Melbourne where, except for ten years as a wharfie in the 1930s and 1940s, he worked as a gardener. Morrison was twice married; with his first wife, who died in 1928, he had one son and one daughter.

Morrison's short stories were first published in the 1940s and many were collected in Sailors Belong to Ships (1947). Supported by a grant from the Commonwealth Literary Fund, he published novels in 1949 and 1950, but later concentrated on the short story, publishing several collections in the 1950s and 1960s. He also published two collections of memoirs and reflective essays in 1973 and 1987. In the 1980s, most of his stories were collected in three volumes. Morrison's work has been translated in a number of languages including Russian, Chinese, Polish, Czech and Italian.

Morrison was a member of the Realist Writers Group and often published his stories in trade union magazines, demonstrating his artistic and social concerns. His stories express his socialist convictions, but his concern for the short story as an art form ensures that they are never simple vehicles for socialist ideology. His stories contain ordinary scenes populated by ordinary characters, but the dynamics of social interaction between these characters produces a drama of significant power. His stories are regularly included in anthologies.

Morrison received a number of awards and honours, including the Patrick White Award and an AO. He died in 1998.

Socialism and the Novel : A Study of Australian Literature Jack Beasley , Petersham : The Editor , 1957 1957 single work criticism y
Nancy Wills b. 10 Sep 1920 d. 2005 (8 works by fr. 1950) Born in Perth and educated in Melbourne, Nancy Wills was a committed communist. She joined a Realist Writers Group in Melbourne, and the CPA in 1944. All the known productions of her plays were done by various New Theatres around Australia, most notably 'Christmas Bridge' and 'The Painter'. She published a memoir entitled 'Shades of Red'.
The Realist Writers Deirdre Moore , single work criticism
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 156 1999 1999 (p. 24-29)
y separately published work icon Overland Nathan Hollier (editor), Katherine Wilson (editor), Nathan Hollier (editor), Jeff Sparrow (editor), Stephen Murray-Smith (editor), Ian Syson (editor), Barrett Reid (editor), John McLaren (editor), Jacinda Woodhead (editor), Evelyn Araluen (editor), Jonathan Dunk (editor), OL Society Ltd. , 1989- 1954 periodical (269 issues)
Communism and Carnival : Ralph de Boissiere's Crown Jewel and Its Australian Context David Carter , single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Cultural History , no. 21 2002 2002 (p. 97-106, notes 124)
David Martin (a.k.a. Lajos Detsinyi; Louis Adam; Louis Destiny) b. 22 Dec 1915 d. 1 Jul 1997 (334 works by fr. 1942)

David Martin was arguably one of the most versatile and best known among the so-called Australian migrant writers in the second half of the 20th century. His works cover a wide range of genres. He also wrote political non-fiction (above all his Armed Neutrality for Australia, 1984), lectured at the Victorian Centre for Adult Education, was a sought-after speaker at many literary events, and became well known as a literary critic and reviewer. He wrote for Meanjin, Overland (of which he was one of the founding members), and numerous other periodicals. A number of his works have been turned into TV and radio scripts. Many have been published overseas and translated into other languages.

Born as Ludwig (Lajos) Detsinyi in Budapest into a multicultural Jewish family, Martin grew up and was educated in Germany. His first poetic pieces were written in German and published under the names of Ludwig Detsinyi, Ludwig Dets, Louis Destiny, or Louis Adams. He left Germany in 1934 and for many years lived the life of a wanderer. He worked in Werkdorp, a training camp for young Jews on the Zuider Zee reclamation zone in Holland, where he was trained in horticulture for a life in a kibbutz. He moved back to Hungary to get further experience in horticulture and then spent some time in a kibbutz in Palestine. In 1937 he left Palestine for Spain where he joined the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War as a volunteer in the medical service of the Spanish Republican Army, his poor eyesight preventing him from more hard-line service. Around this time Martin's political poetry in German began to be published in leftist journals.

He fled from Spain in 1938 and joined his family in London. After a short stint in his father's clothing trade, Ludwig Detsinyi set off to become a writer. Having to shake off the label of an 'enemy alien' and to write in a second language, he slowly worked his way up from radio monitor and correspondent to sub-editor for the Daily Express in Glasgow, and then eventually got permission to work as a feature writer in English for the European Service of the BBC in London at the height of the Second World War. In England he changed his name from Ludwig Detsinyi to David Martin and began to write and publish in English.

As a correspondent of the Daily Express (and eventually also of the Indian paper Hindu) Martin, his wife Richenda and their son Jan (qq.v.) spent a year in India. On the planned return trip to England the production of Martin's play The Shepherd and the Hunter in Sydney brought the Martins to Australia in 1949. What had initially been a visit became migration, and apart from overseas travels the Martins remained in Australia for the rest of their lives, finally settling in Beechworth, Victoria. Martin joined the Communist Party in 1951, remained active until after the Hungarian revolt of 1956, but resigned in 1959 following a controversy about his interview with Ho Chi-minh (published in Hindu) which the party deemed damaging for the cause.

Martin was a member of the Realist Writers Group together with Judah Waten, Frank Hardy and Eric Lambert (qq.v.), and he continued to speak up on societal and political matters until his death in 1997. Martin's autobiography My Strange Friend (1990) provides interesting insights into the life and times of the writer and the history of the 20th century.

Peter Henry (1 works by fr. 1958) Active member of the Sydney Realist Writers Group.
Report on the Technique of Working Class Journalism Rupert Lockwood , single work essay
— Appears in: Realist Writer , vol. 1 no. 2 1960 1960 (p. 41-42)
The Writer and the Labor Movement Frank Hardy , single work column
— Appears in: Realist Writer , vol. 1 no. 2 1960 1960 (p. 3-4, 13)
Untitled Editorial Frank Hardy , single work column
— Appears in: Realist Writer , July vol. 1 no. 1 1958 1958 (p. 1, 27)
Frank Hardy and Communist Cultural Institutions Allan Gardiner , single work criticism
— Appears in: Frank Hardy and the Literature of Commitment Carlton North : The Vulgar Press , 2003 2003 (p. 35-52)
Radical Melbourne : An Archival History of Overland single work essay
— Appears in: Overland , Autumn no. 250 2023 2023 (p. 46-47)
'The Times They Are A'Changing' Dorothy Hewett , single work prose
— Appears in: Hecate , vol. 21 no. 2 1995 1995 (p. 133-136)
`The Times They Are a `Changin' Dorothy Hewett , single work prose
— Appears in: Selected Prose of Dorothy Hewett Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2011 2011 (p. 152-157)
Henry Lawson, Vanguard Fighter for Peace Jack Beasley , single work criticism biography
— Appears in: Communist Review , December no. 132 1952 1952 (p. 381-384)
Bill Sutton (a.k.a. W. G. Sutton) d. 1977 (21 works by fr. 1960) Bill Sutton described himself a shearing shed anarchist and continued his devotion to the union movement throughout his life. After having worked as a shearer, he ran the Peoples Bookshop in Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane for many years, stocking not only union material but also poetry and music, and displayed posters for upcoming cultural events. His 1972 prosecution for selling Phillip Roth's banned book Portnoy's Complaint was the basis for his 1973 short story The Good Looking Bookseller and the Ugly Society. The bookshop had moved by this time to St Paul's Terrace but the building was structurally damaged by a bomb blast engineered by a "well known Brisbane Nazi" ( Neil Lloyd, 'Communist Party Bombing, 1972,' Radical Brisbane, ed. Raymond Evans and Carole Ferrier (2004), 259-264). He was the last fulltime paid manager of the bookshop. Sutton was the honorary secretary of the Brisbane Realist Writers Group for many years, and travelled overseas to writers conferences.
L. F. Huelin (a.k.a. Leslie Francis Huelin; Frank Heulin) b. 1908 d. 1992 (4 works by fr. 1961) L. F. Heulin came to Australia in the mid-1920s and spent several years drifting around Victoria and New South Wales. Carrying his swag, he met on the track the sort of men who later formed the backbone of the Sixth Division, A.I.F. Huelin went back to Jersey during World War II and then returned to Australia permanently. For a time he lived in Melbourne and finally in Bendigo. He was a member of the Melbourne Realist Writers' group and wrote several stage plays and scripts for television. Huelin was an active member of the Communist Party of Australia and the Labour Movement in general.
Katharine Susannah Prichard Dymphna Cusack , single work criticism
— Appears in: The Realist , March no. 14 1964 1964 (p. 14-16)
Walter Kaufmann b. 19 Jan 1924 d. 15 Apr 2021 (35 works by fr. 1945)

Walter Kaufmann, born Jizchak Schmeidler in Berlin as the son of a Polish-Jewish woman, was adopted by the wealthy German-Jewish couple Dr Sally and Johanna Kaufmann in 1928. The family moved to Duisburg in the Rhineland where Kaufmann went to school until the age of 15. In 1938 his adoptive parents, who were leading members of the local Jewish community, managed to organise for him the escape to England with the 'Refugee Children's Movement' program. (See biographical section in A. Ludewig's unpubl. PhD thesis, 'Der deutsch-australische Autor Walter Kaufmann')

While his parents were eventually deported to Theresienstadt and later murdered in Auschwitz, Walter Kaufmann was interned in England after the outbreak of war, and deported to Australia on the infamous ship Dunera in 1940. Like the other 'Dunera boys', Kaufmann was interned at the Hay Internment Camp, and was not released until 1942. His strong anti-fascist convictions made him join the army. After the war and demobilisation he worked in different environments and various jobs, for instance as fruit picker, farm labourer, photographer, wharfie and sailor, at the same time trying to further his education.

Interested in literature and committed to the ideals of socialism and communism, Kaufmann joined the Melbourne Realist Writers' Group and had some of his stories published in the Realist Writer. He was encouraged by Frank Hardy and David Martin to write a novel based on his own past in Nazi Germany, Voices in the Storm, which later was published by the Australasian Book Society (1953). He became politically active and travelled extensively, frequently attending conferences in socialist and other countries.

After stays in Moscow and Eastern Europe in the mid-1950s, he settled in the Eastern part of Berlin in the German Democratic Republic, where he became General Secretary of PEN, continued writing and received several prestigious awards (Fontane-Preis 1961 and 1964; Heinrich-Mann-Preis 1967). Kaufmann continued to travel extensively, among other places to South America and Japan, and he also returned to Australia for visits several times. His travel experiences and observations are reflected in much of his fiction and travel writing. He also published several books of journalistic essays, and although his significance as a socialist writer has diminished with the collapse of the communist regime, Kaufmann's work in German has continued to be published after the re-unification of Germany.

Apart from the Mary Gilmore Award, Kaufmann has received the German Heinrich Mann Prize, the Theodor Fontane Prize for Art and Literature, and the Ruhrgebiets-Literaturpreis 1993.

Leaving the Realist Writers to Themselves Ralph De Boissiere , single work biography
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 156 1999 1999 (p. 30-34)
A Very Humanitarian Type of Socialism: An Interview with Mona Brand Gaye Poole (interviewer), single work interview biography
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , October no. 21 1992 1992 (p. 3-22)
Working Class Literature Without Class? Ian Syson , single work criticism
— Appears in: Social Alternatives , October vol. 12 no. 3 1993 1993 (p. 25-29)
ASIO's Writers Clamp Fiona Capp , single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 16 April 1988 1988 (p. 68)