James Lucas was born in Sydney in 1965. He was educated at the University of New South Wales, where he won the University medal, and then Cambridge, where he completed a Ph D in modernist poetry in 1997. He published two chapbooks in the 1990s in the UK, his first Australian poetry publication being in Southerly in 1994. Since then his poems have appeared in Communion, Contrappasso, Cordite Poetry Review, Heat, Island, Meanjin, New England Review, Overland, Quadrant, Salt, Scarp, Southerly, the Henry Kendall Award Anthology, and the 2020 Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology. For many years he has taught English at Sydney Grammar School. Rare Bird is his first book.