Peter Porter was born in Brisbane, Australia on February 16, 1929. He moved to London in 1951 and worked as a bookseller and in advertising before writing on poetry for the Observer. In 1961, he published his first collection of poems, Once Bitten, Twice Bitten. His other works include The Cost of Seriousness, Better Than God, and Max is Missing, which won the Forward prize in 2001. His other awards include the Duff Cooper prize, the Whitbread poetry award, and the Queen's Gold Medal for poetry. He died on April 23, 2010 at the age of 81.Graham Robb's two previous books, "Victor Hugo" & "Balzac," were "New York Times" Notable Books. He lives in Oxford, England.