AustLit logo
NLA image of person
Geoffrey Lehmann Geoffrey Lehmann i(A1555 works by) (a.k.a. Geoffrey John Lehmann)
Born: Established: 1940 Sydney, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Male
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Geoffrey Lehmann was born in Sydney at the Crown Street Hospital and spent his early childhood at Mcmahon's Point on Sydney Harbour. He was educated at the Shore School. His family background acknowledges mixed Irish and German descent and Lehmann studied German literature at university. Lehmann graduated in arts and law from the University of Sydney in 1960 and 1963 respectively. While at university he co-edited with Les Murray the magazines Arna and Hermes and, during this period, was associated with the Sydney Push. Lehmann has practised as a solicitor, becoming a partner with C. R. Willcox, and lectured in law and taxation at the University of New South Wales. He later became a partner in the international accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He has written occasionally on taxation for the Australian Financial Review, describing himself as 'a tax consultant and poet', and has held the position of Chair of the Australian Tax Research Foundation.

Lehmann's first volume of poetry was The Ilex Tree (1965), a collaboration with Les Murray. Since then his poetry has been published regularly and collected in a number of widely admired volumes. Lehmann explores human nature with poems of diverse settings, including ancient Rome and rural New South Wales. The latter setting is exemplified in Ross' Poems (1978), a series that employs the voice of an Australian farmer to explore the ideas of family and community. Lehmann's Roman poetry is often seen as a metaphor for the destruction of civilization and is sometimes connected with Sydney. This view of society is balanced by Lehmann's family poetry with which he often examines the life of his father and grandfather. Lehmann has won the Grace Leven Prize three times, most recently for Collected Poems (1997). Lehmann's influences have included C. P. Cavafy and Kenneth Slessor.

In addition to his poetry, Lehmann has written a novel and edited several anthologies of Australian poetry. He has also published a book of art criticism on Australian naive painting. With Cynthia Coleman, he co-authored Taxation Law in Australia (1989).

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Poems 1957 - 2013 Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2014 7248812 2014 selected work poetry

'Geoffrey Lehmann’s distinguished career as a poet culminates in this volume of collected work from 1957–2013. Displaying the breadth and depth of his poetry, Lehmann explores human nature in settings as diverse as ancient Rome and rural New South Wales, from searing satire to the domestic life of a family.' (Publisher's Blurb)

2015 winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Poetry
y separately published work icon Australian Poetry Since 1788 Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2011 Z1803846 2011 anthology poetry (taught in 1 units) 'A good poem is one that the world can’t forget or is delighted to rediscover. This landmark anthology of Australian poetry, edited by two of Australia’s foremost poets, Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray, contains such poems. It is the first of its kind for Australia and promises to become a classic. Included here are Australia’s major poets, and lesser-known but equally affecting ones, and all manifestations of Australian poetry since 1788, from concrete poems to prose poems, from the cerebral to the naïve, from the humorous to the confessional, and from formal to free verse. Translations of some striking Aboriginal song poems are one of the high points. Containing over 1000 poems from 170 Australian poets, as well as short critical biographies, this careful reevaluation of Australian poetry makes this a superb book that can be read and enjoyed over a lifetime.' (From the publisher's website.)
2012 shortlisted Educational Publishing Awards Australia Tertiary Education Scholarly Non-Fiction Book of the Year
y separately published work icon Collected Poems Kew : Heinemann , 1997 Z340672 1997 selected work poetry
1997 winner Grace Leven Poetry Prize

Known archival holdings

Albinski 125
Last amended 9 Jul 2014 14:25:26
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: