Beaver was born in Manly, New South Wales. He was educated at the Manly Public School and at the Sydney Boys' High School. He worked at a number of jobs, as a cow farmer, in radio, as a wages clerk, a surveyor's labourer, fruit-picker, proof-reader and journalist, before deciding to write full-time. From 1958 to 1962, he lived in New Zealand and Norfolk Island.
In 1961 Beaver's first book of poetry was published. He wrote his first poem in response to the dropping of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima, and continued to write even while working as a labourer. Thanks to his marriage, he was able to become a full-time writer. Even though he suffered from bipolar disorder, Beaver was able to continue writing until close to his death in 2004.
When asked to list their favourite books, Dorothy Porter named Bruce Beaver and is quoted as saying: "Bruce Beaver is one of Australia's greatest and most magical poets. I have been carrying his book Charmed Lives(UQP) around in my bag like an amulet. His poetry is pungent, discursive, feral, disturbing, wise and very funny. Charmed Lives is out of print. It shouldn't be."
- 1970: Grace Leven Prize for Poetry (for Letters to Live Poets)
- 1982: Patrick White Award
- 1990: New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards (Special Award)
- 1995: C.J. Dennis Prize for Poetry (for Anima and Other Poems)
- Under the Bridge. Sydney: Beaujon Press, 1961.
- Seawall and Shoreline. Sydney: South Head Press, 1964.
- Open at Random. Sydney: South Head Press, 1967.
- Letters to Live Poets: Poems. Sydney: South Head Press, 1969.
- Lauds and Plaints: Poems, 1968-1972. Sydney: South Head Press, 1974.
- Odes and Days. Sydney: South Head Press, 1975.
- Death's Directives. Sydney: New Poetry, 1978.
- Selected Poems. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1979.
- Charmed Lives. St. Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1988.
- New and Selected Poems, 1960-1990. St. Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1991.
- Anima, and other poems. St. Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1994. w
- Poets and others. Sydney: Brandl & Schlesinger, 1999.
- The Long Game, and other poems. St. Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 2005.
- The Flautist in the Laundry, and other poems. Warners Bay, N.S.W. : Picaro Press, 2007.
- The Hot Summer. Sydney: Horwitz, 1963.
- Hot Sands. Sydney: Horwitz, 1964.
- The Hot Men. Sydney: Horwitz, 1965.
- The Hot Spring. Sydney: Horwitz, 1965.
- You Can't Come Back. Adelaide: Rigby, 1966.
- As it was (autobiography). St. Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1979.
- Headlands: Prose sketches. St. Lucia, Qld, & New York: University of Queensland Press, 1986.
- ↑ "Bruce Beaver, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Britannica.com, Web, Mar. 2, 2012.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Bruce Beaver "Beaver, Bruce (a.k.a. Beaver, Bruce Victor )". Austlit. http://www.austlit.edu.au/run?ex=ShowAgent&agentId=A-7 Bruce Beaver. Retrieved 2007-09-14.
- ↑ Australian Verse: An Illustrated Treasury, edited by Beatrice Davis, State Library of New South Wales Press, 1996
- ↑ "Tickling our fancy (December 11, 2004)". Melbourne: The Age. 2004-12-11. http://www.theage.com.au/news/Books/Tickling-our-fancy/2004/12/09/1102182406687.html. Retrieved 2007-09-14.
- ↑ Search results = au:Bruce Beaver, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 26, 2014.
- Bruce Beaver (Australia, 1928-2004) at Poetry International Rotterdam (profile and 22 poems).
- Bruce Beaver at PoemHunter (21 poems).
- Bruce Beaver (1928-2004) in the Australian Poetry Library (594 poems).
- Bruce Beaver in the Encyclopædia Britannica
- Bruce Beaver in the Oxford Companion to Australian Literature.
- Obituary: Bruce Beaver, 1928-2004 at Tranter's Journal.
- Celebrathing life, death, writing itself, Sydney Morning Herald
- Bruce Beaver in conversation with John Tranter, 2003
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