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A. D. Hope OBE

1907 – 2000

AD Hope OBE (1907-2000), poet, literary critic and academic, was educated at Sydney University before winning a scholarship to Oxford. Returning to Australia in 1931, he taught at Sydney Teachers' College and Melbourne University before becoming first Professor of English at the Canberra University College - later to become the Australian National University - in 1951. He retired from this post in 1968, but remained a familiar figure on campus for many years more. Hope's scintillating volumes of poetry, including The Wandering Islands (1955), Poems (1960), and A Late Picking (1975) brought him international recognition. In an age of technical innovation in poetry, he adhered strictly to traditional verse forms, but thematically, especially in the genteel climate of Menzies-era Australia, his work was striking for the candour of its eroticism. In a recent cover article for the London Review of Books, Clive James reprised his 1994 assessment of Hope as 'the poet who matters most in all of the largest island's short but variegated cultural history.' Hope continued to publish into the early 1990s; his memoir, Chance Encounters, was published in 1992.

Updated 2018