Robert Adamson has lived near the Hawkesbury River for most of his life. A series of juvenile misdemeanours resulted in him being sent to various detention centres. It was during this period that he first began writing poetry. With a career spanning more than three decades, Adamson is recognised as one of Australia's leading poets. His books have been published in the UK and the USA and his poems have been translated into several languages. He has published fifteen volumes of poetry and has organised and produced poetry readings, delivered papers, lectures and readings at literary festivals throughout Australia and internationally. He has been writer-in-residence at Australian universities, and was President of the Poetry Society of Australia, 1974-1980.
Adamson was a key player in the growth of the 'New Australian Poetry' and was an editor of the Poetry Society of Australia's magazine, New Poetry, from 1968 until 1982. He worked as a poetry editor and consultant with Angus & Robertson/HarperCollins and he established several small publishing companies, including Prism Books and Big Smoke. Adamson, with Juno Gemes and Michael Wilding, established Paper Bark Press in 1986 – a small press that went on to become one of Australia's major poetry publishing companies with a backlist of over thirty books. He was also the poetry editor the literary magazine Ulitarra from 1993 to 1997. In 1997 he became a founding editor, along with James Taylor, of the international poetry journal Boxkite.
1997: The Language of Oysters (Craftsman House)
1990: The Clean Dark (Paper Bark Press, Australia)
1994: Waving to Hart Crane (A&R/HarperCollins)
2004: Inside Out (Text Publishing)
2004: Reading the River: Selected Poems
2006: The Goldfinches of Baghdad (Flood Editions)