Geoffrey Lehmann has won the 2015 Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry for his volume Poems 1957-2013, published by UWA Publishing.
Accepting the award at a ceremony in Sydney Monday night, Geoffrey reflected on his writing career. “Since the age of 14 all I’ve wanted to do is write poetry,” he said, adding, “A good poem may be read 200 years from now.”
Poems 1957-2013 is a volume of poems that span Geoffrey’s writing career and constitute his major contribution to Australian literature and culture.
Director of UWA Publishing, Terri-Ann White said that the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards were a great tribute to both small Australian publishers and two Western Australian books.
“The first award of the night went to us at UWA Publishing,” she said. “As a stalwart of literary publishing, particularly poetry, it’s a fillip for our list as the shortlist contained the cream of current Australian poets.”
Geoffrey Lehmann’s poetry was first published in The London Magazine when he was eighteen and he was the first Australian poet to be published by the London publishing house Faber and Faber with his first volume of poetry The Ilex Tree, published jointly with Les Murray, which went on to win the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry in 1965. He was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize in 1994.
Since then he has published seven further collections of poetry, as well as a Selected Poems (1976) and a Collected Poems (1997), which won his third Grace Leven Poetry Prize, after Nero’s Poems: Translations of the Public and Private Poems of the Emperor Nero also won in 1981.
Geoffrey’s other collections are A Voyage of Lions and other poems (1968), Conversation with a Rider (1972), Ross’ Poems (1978), Children’s Games (1990), Spring Forest (1992), and Baking at Night: and other poems (2003). In addition to his poetry, Lehmann has written a novel and edited several anthologies of Australian poetry, including the seminal Australian Poetry Since 1788 (2011) with Robert Gray.
A lawyer by training, he has been a partner at an international accounting firm, and co-author of five editions of a major taxation text and chairman of the Australian Tax Research Foundation.
To celebrate Geoffrey’s win, UWA Publishing is offering 20% off the collection until Monday 21 December 2015. You can redeem the offer by entering the code PMLA2015 at the checkout on UWA Publishing’s online store.