Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts
Clive James

QPF: Sentenced to Life-Clive James

Presented by Queensland Poetry Festival in association with McCullough Robertson Lawyers.

Clive James: an exclusive in-depth interview and moving reading of new (and some unreleased) work QPF filmed in his Cambridge home in March of this year. Clive discusses his life, his poetry, his view of Australian poetry past & present, plus his mortality and the Japanese maple that keeps living.

This is the premiere screening, complimented by The Viola Cloning Project performing a few of Clive's favourite Desert Island Disc tracks. Hosted by the Courier Mail’s Arts Editor Phil Brown, who will also read his favourite James poem.

Clive James was born in Sydney in 1939 and was educated at the University of Sydney and Pembroke College, Cambridge. A memoirist, poet, translator, critic, novelist, travel writer, lyricist and broadcaster, he has written more than thirty books, the two most recently published being Collected Poems and Gate of Lilacs: A Verse Commentary on Proust. In 1992 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2003 he was awarded the Philip Hodgins memorial medal for literature. He holds honorary doctorates from Sydney University and the University of East Anglia. In 2012 he was appointed CBE and in 2013 an Officer of the Order of Australia. He lives in Cambridge.

Image caption: Clive James

For all QPF2016 ticketed events click HERE


Event Details

Date & Time

Sun 28 August, 3:30pm

Duration: 60min, no interval


Unreserved Cabaret and Theatre Seating
Online sales close two hours before performances

All: $15

Recommended for all ages



Clive James

"A lot of my poems are about how ill I am and how I probably won't live beyond next week. I publish a poem and everyone says 'cluck cluck, how wonderful, how brave', but then embarrassingly I'm still here! You see the problem?"

The Guardian

"It mixes celebration, sorrow and acceptance – a perfect, valedictory balancing act."