John Manifold

John Manifold

Name: John Manifold

Epoch: Late 20th Century

Grouping Field: Literature (Fiction)

Location Grouping: Individual\'s Work Location

Map Coordinates: 27°27\'05.2\"S 153°08\'54.5\"E

Years At Location: 1950-1985

One Historical Setting: Mr. John Streeter Manifold, a house somewhere in Wynnum [TBA] (1950)

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In 1949, John Manifold came to Brisbane from London, and settled at Wynnum. Another distinguished Australian poet, Manifold was President of the Queensland section of the Fellowship of Australian Writers. William Hatherell says that Manifold’s poetry and literary criticism “sought to identify a privileged tradition of …’realism’ that encompassed Henry Lawson and A. B. Paterson as well as Byron and Balzac.” In 1950 he helped to found the Brisbane Realist Writers’ Group. His Wynnum home became a celebrated ‘salon’ for Brisbane’s literati, including David Malouf, Thomas Shapcott, Rodney Hall and Judith Rodriguez.

Impact On Brisbane Society

The classicist-trained John Manifold was an important sustainer of the local radical/bushman’s arts tradition. He was a strange mixture of high and low culture, reflecting the fact that the realist writers were left-wing modernists attempting to re-connect to the old rural working-class roots. Unfortunately, it suffered historiographically from the nostalgia of the romantic thinkers.


William Hatherell, ‘Manifold, John Streeter (1915–1985)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 2012, accessed online 3 November 2017.

Fitzgerald, Ross; Megarrity, Lyndon; Symons, David. Made in Queensland : a New History, Special Q150 commemorative edition, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Qld, 2009.

Hall, Rodney. J.S. Manifold: an Introduction to the Man and his Work, University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, Qld, 1978.

Manifold, J. S. (John Streeter); Hall, Rodney; Neilsen, Philip. John Manifold Talks with Rodney Hall, Queensland University Press, St. Lucia, Qld, 1976.

Image Citation

John Manifold 1948. []