Stewart Levitt, best known for his work as a lawyer successfully fighting public causes against banks and governments for the underdog, whether Indigenous outliers or down-at-the heel farmers, has released an anthology of poems titled ‘Too Soon to be Late’.
Drawing on his liberal values, Jewish heritage and experience as an Australian lawyer, the 184-page compilation has been written by Stewart over twenty years.
The content explores themes associated with his career, including social activism, politics and human rights, as well as his personal experiences related to his close-knit family and travels around the globe, to every continent except Antarctica.
Many of the high impact poems carry strong messages of outrage, love or disdain and often exhort readers to locate their better selves.
Geoff Todd – who was this year made a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service as a visual artist and sculptor – and artist, Alan Duffy, both provided the evocative imagery, adding an extra visual dimension.
The release of ‘Too Soon to be Late’ is timed to coincide with the launch of a biennial poetry prize for poems on political, social or personal themes of particular relevance to Indigenous Australians or Torres Straight Islanders.
The award will be called “Levitt Indigenous Poetry Prize” (L.I.P.P.) and will see the top three poems receive a share of $20,000. The 100-150 best entries will be selected by a panel of expert judges from across the country, and included in a biennial anthology called the “L.I.P.P Edition”, published by Saray Publishing, with net profits to go to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Contestants need not be Indigenous or Torres Strait Islanders. Stewart and his wife Odelia, hope that the Biennial Poetry Prize will help to channel emotion, eloquently and constructively and engage white and black Australians in focusing on Indigenous issues in literature.
Details for submissions will be released by the end of November, 2019.
Stewart Levitt comments, “‘Too Soon To Be Late’ is my way of explaining myself and providing a cue for others to stand up and be counted”.
Pre-release testimonials include:
“These pages document the interior life of a man who, it must be said, has come wonderfully to personify Sydney’s grit and colour. A villain’s advocate and a crusader for the innocent, Stewart Levitt has embraced every one of life’s contradictions.” Linton Besser – acclaimed author.
“Such an utterly unusual book deserves rapid recognition, not just for its inspired use of language and images but because it states truths that our whole planet’s populace ought to be anxious to hear.” Giles Auty – author and artist.
For more information, and to purchase a copy of Too Soon to be Late, visit: