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In October 1943, the young Australian literary editor, Max Harris, received a package of poems by a recently deceased Australian poet, Ern Malley, forwarded by Ern's sister Ethel. Harris was convinced that he had stumbled on a work of genius. He published the poems in his own magazine Angry Penguins. But it was all a hoax, the Ern Malley poems were the work of two young Australian poets, James McAuley and Harold Stewart, who had composed the poems in the course of a single afternoon while on duty at their barracks in Melbourne. The consequences of this action were to haunt all the participants for the rest of their lives.