Remembering Shelton Lea

My review of Diana Georgeff’s Delinquent Angel, a biography of Melbourne poet and raconteur Shelton Lea, has been published in the latest issue of Overland (#190). Interestingly, the editors have decided to put most (if not all) of the contents of the issue online, so you can now read the review in its entirety! Here’s a brief snippet:

“What emerges is the peculiar tension provided by Shelton Lea the renegade poet: a man of the street, but also someone raised in an upper class family in Toorak. While the former made him tough and possessed of no small amount of bravado, the latter gave him his love of reading and in particular of poetry, from his obvious association with the Romantics to his engagement with Modernists such as Ezra Pound.

This tension gives the book its narrative focus and Shelton his humanity. Georgeff has written a tremendously engaging account of one poet’s life, without overly romanticising her subject, and has refrained from writing over Lea’s faults or ignoring his weaknesses.”

There’s a lot more to digest in the current issue, as is usual with Overland. If anyone has a comment or would like to discuss the points I make in my review, feel free!


  1. Sheldon Lea was a close friend of mine when he lived in Gippsland in the 80s. I recently found out his biography has been written by Diana Georgeff. I have ordered a copy and can’t wait to read it. I would dearly love any other leads you might have or links to Web content about Shelley. I miss him a lot.

  2. Hi Alan, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I don’t know of many good resources online for Shelton. The Georgeff bio is very good. Hope you enjoy it … D

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