Born on the Isle of Wight to an Egyptian mother and an English father, poet Kris Hemensley grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, where his father was stationed as a member of the Royal Air Force. Hemensley moved to Australia in 1966 after visiting as a sailor. In Melbourne, he worked as a radio broadcaster and literary correspondent and edited several literary magazines, including Our Glass, Earth Ship, The Ear in a Wheatfield, and The Merri Creek, or Nero. He has published more than 20 collections of poetry, often with small independent presses, including The Going and Other Poems (1969), Domestications: A Selection of Poems 1968–1972 (1974), and Trace (1984). His prose includes The Rooms & Other Prose Pieces (1975) and No Word, No Worry: Prose Pieces 1968–1970 (1971).
Hemensley’s lyric poems often overlay natural and personal landscapes. In an interview for Australia’s the Age newspaper, Hemensley spoke of what drives him to write, “It's an existential act, it's vocational, a necessity, a way of working things out.” His honors include the Christopher Brennan Award from the Fellowship of Australian Writers. Since 1984, Hemensley has run a poetry bookstore in Melbourne.