JOHN Tranter has never been persecuted by feminists, Marxists or arts bureaucrats, though he was once told off by a policeman for driving under the influence. In a letter spruiking Tranter's new poetry collection, Urban Myths (University of Queensland Press, $26.95), his agent and wife, Lyn, cannot resist a sly dig at Australia's most successful poet, Les Murray.Murray has long maintained he is hounded by the Left, including arts funding body the Australia Council, despite having been (until the early 1990s) generously subsidised. "No one persecutes Les, no one ever has, he has this fantasy view," says John Tranter, mildly.One of the most original poets of his generation, Tranter was an aesthetic foe of Murray in the fierce poetry wars that pitted traditional, nationalist poets against the internationalist avant-garde. [...]
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