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Anne Kellas

Poet, editor, mentor


Poet Anne Kellas has been described as “an original living in the whole world, not just a small corner of it”. Her three books are: The White Room Poems (2015), written with the support of an Australia Council grant, Poems from Mt Moono (1989), and Isolated States (2001), written with the support of an Arts Tasmania grant.

Born into apartheid South Africa, Anne moved to England and later, to Swaziland, before emigrating to Australia in 1986 with her husband and two sons. After working in youth research for many years she undertook a Master’s degree exploring the territory of grief which underlies The White Room Poems.

Her poetry is deeply influenced by symbolist poets like Georg Trakl and Paul Celan, by Jung, by novelists like Doris Lessing, J.M. Coetzee and Ivan Vladislavic, and by composers such as Arvo Part, Faure and Philip Glass, along with Radiohead and Patti Smith. Yeats and Wordsworth were her earliest influences.

Kellas describes her work as “abstract lyric”. She brings “both wit and deep seriousness to her poetry” with themes that “take up the kind of apocalyptic vision of Doris Lessing” (Kevin Brophy, reviewing Isolated States). Those themes often include  deracination, dislocation and loss. Her “unerring focus on place and experience is simultaneously precise and visionary” (Kelwyn Sole, University of Cape Town).  Almost all her poems to date have been translated into Ukrainian.

Her poetry has attracted the attention of composers like Matthew Dewey, music director at ABC Classic FM, and Scott McIntyre, who is working on a composition based on The White Room Poems. In 2008, Dewey recorded “A song cycle of poems by Anne Kellas” based on Isolated States.

Like many poets, Anne also has a passion for teaching poetry: she has lectured in poetry at tertiary level, and often gives poetry workshops, mentors poets, assesses manuscripts and reviews books.

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Hobart Bookshop


22 Salamanca Square, Hobart

a proud independent bookshop with an emphasis on Tasmaniana, poetry and literature.
Fullers Bookshop - Hobart
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Fullers Bookshop


131 Collins Street, Hobart

Established in 1923, it is one of Hobart's leading independent booksellers.
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State Cinema Bookstore


373 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart

Non-fiction, travel, art, fashion, architecture and hand-selected fiction titles

Anne’s work is also available at Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe in Sydney. Online her blogs can be found at: and

and her poems can be found here:

My Father and the Cars (from a collaboration with artist Patrick Hall)

Parable and a rose tree, Your planet moon and From the City of Alice

Easter, Two Poems

How to get rid of the layer of snow

Z, under house arrest in Johannesburg, 1988