In the latest sign of China’s continuing crackdown on domestic critics, a prominent Chinese writer has been barred from leaving China to attend a literary festival next week in Australia, the writer and festival officials said Monday.

The writer, Liao Yiwu, is a poet, author and musician who went to prison for four years after the Tiananmen Square killings in 1989 for composing a strongly worded eulogy for the fallen. Some of his more recent writings on people at the margins of life in China, including a professional funeral mourner and a grave robber, have been compiled in a translated book, The Corpse Walker.

Mr. Liao said in a telephone interview that security officials had invited him to a teahouse in his hometown of Chengdu and informed him that he had not been granted permission to leave the country to attend the Sydney Writers’ Festival. The officials did not provide a reason, Mr. Liao said, adding, “I was politely treated.”

The travel ban on Mr. Liao is a reminder that China restricts free speech beyond the more widely reported detentions and disappearances of bloggers, writers and lawyers this spring, the biggest such crackdown in years.

Mr. Liao was also denied permission last month to attend the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature in New York, where he had been scheduled to speak on April 25. The chairman of that festival, Salman Rushdie, criticized the travel prohibition as “an extremely unfortunate statement on the part of Chinese authorities about its willingness to engage in free and open cultural exchange.”

A man answering the phone at Chengdu police headquarters seemed to recognize Mr. Liao’s name and said that he would have to check with colleagues on Mr. Liao’s status; shortly afterward, the man returned to the phone and said he did not know anything about it.

Mr. Liao had been scheduled to appear at the Sydney festival as part of a panel to discuss China’s rising political influence in Australia. At a separate event at the festival, he was also supposed to read his poetry and perform a musical accompaniment on an ancient Chinese instrument that resembles a long flute, although it is held perpendicular to the lips instead of parallel like a Western concert flute.

The musical poetry reading has been canceled, but the panel discussion will proceed with other speakers, said Chip Rolley, the festival’s artistic director.

Travel restrictions on Chinese critics of the government coincide with China’s cancellation of dozens of cultural forums and other events that Western embassies had organized this spring, as the Chinese government has shown a growing suspicion of foreign influence and Western ideas. That suspicion has followed calls for a Jasmine Revolution, as Tunisia’s uprising was called, to take hold in China as well. But there has been little sign that the calls have drawn any broad response, other than from Chinese security forces that have turned out at gathering places suggested for protests.

Even before the calls for a Jasmine Revolution, China sometimes prevented prominent dissidents from speaking overseas, most notably Liu Xiaobo, who was denied permission to travel to Oslo last Dec. 10 to accept the Nobel Peace Prize; the prize was awarded to him in absentia.

Mr. Liao said that he had been denied permission 14 times to leave China from 1999 until last autumn, when he received permission to travel to Germany after literary acclaim for The Corpse Walker.

“While I was in Germany, my friends suggested that I stay in Germany and not return to China with all the restrictions, but I told them I wanted to return to China since I write about China,” Mr. Liao said, expressing no regrets about his decision.