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A.D. Hope, painted by Keith Looby

Welcome to the ANU Poets Lunch.

The ANU Poets Lunch has been through three different incarnations in the last thirty years.

The first generation of lunches began in the 1970s and featured a select group of ANU-based Poets, some of them world-famous. They were held at the ANU Staff Centre, and the theme was wine. The poems were published in the wine lists for the lunches. A selection of the poems from these lunches, edited by Philip Grundy, is given here. It includes poetry from some of the poets who made history for the art form in the post-colonial age.

The second generation was organised by Giles Pickford and Colin Plowman, and began in 1993 in a similar way, but soon attracted a large range of poets from all over Canberra, with a competitive selection process for the best submitted poems. Most lunches had a theme, and some had a featured poet. The venue was a marquee on the Staff Centre lawns (rain permitting). When the Staff Centre closed, the lunch moved to University House, sometimes inside, sometimes outside. The poems for each lunch were published in a booklet. The complete contents of each booklet appear on this site.

After the second generation lunches ran out of steam (the last was in 2001), a small group decided to continue on a more informal basis. After initial meetings in the sculpture garden on the lawns near Old Canberra House (the old Staff Centre building), they are how held in the Molony Room at the ANU Emeritus Faculty. Each of these third generation lunches has a theme, and the poems from each have been published as a booklet by Boris Books. The complete contents of each booklet appear on this site.

Oscar Spate, renowned ANU Demographer was asked years ago whether so-and-so had published much. He replied that the person was well represented in the Library of Hell. When asked what that is, he replied that The Library of Hell contains every unpublished work ever written. Since it takes an eternity to process new accessions, only a limited selection appears here.

If you are an author represented in this collection please feel free to contact us if something is wrong with the text. We have striven tremendously to get it right and to get publication consent. Some poets have asked us to correct errors, or to substitute a later version, which has been done. If there is anything wrong, don't sue: just help us get it right by contacting the Poets' Lunch Coordinator .


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