Ross's poems have been widely published in Australia and Ireland. He has also had poems taken in the United States and New Zealand. His work has been broadcast on Radio National’s Poetica and community radio. He appears on the CD of a live reading, You Have Been Chosen. The Blue Dressing Gown was published in 2011 by Profile Poetry. Tightrope Horizon (Five Islands Press) was published in 2003. Shh and other love poems and My Ship were published by Mark Time Books in 2009. Shh has been anthologized in Poems for All Occasions and elsewhere. In 2014 Ross published Awakening: Poems from the collection of the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Light Travelling: a Sampler of New and Selected Poems.

Ross was Poet in Residence at the Castlemaine Art Gallery for the Centenary Celebrations in 2013. He was in the Gallery each weekend writing and chatting to visitors. Awakenings: Poems from the Collection (Mark Time Books) was the result of this collaboration.

Radio National's Poetica featured the 'Father' sequence of poems in June 2013. These are selected poems from The Blue Dressing Gown (publishing details in the left-hand panel).

He was the inaugural judge of the Castlemaine Poetry Prize which has been running since 2011. In 2016 he judged the Boyle Arts Festival in Ireland and in 2017, the Tom Collins Poetry Prize, Fellowship of Australian Writers, WA.

Ross has travelled to Europe many times in the past ten years, enjoying residencies in Norway and Romania, and reading in several other countries, both at festivals and as a feature reader. In 2016 he read in Romania, Poland, Norway, the UK, and Ireland, running a workshop for students at Lublin, Poland, and judging the poetry competition for the Boyle Arts Festival in Ireland, where he was also the feature reader.

Sjøvegen (The Sea Road), was launched in Ålvik, Norway, then in Castlemaine in 2015 and Melbourne in 2016. The 50 tanka in Sjøvegen draw inspiration from the world around Hardangerfjord and are translated into nynorsk, the more 'poetic' form of Norwegian spoken in western Norway. Students from the local school translated the tanka, with the help of teacher, Kristin Holst.

In 2017 Ross travelled to Perth for readings, to Adelaide for a broadcast with ABC presenter and poet, Mike Ladd, then to Bundanoon NSW, for a ‘home reading’, courtesy of poet, Peter Lach-Newinsky.

His latest book is Lucidity (2017), a collection of poems drawn from 2010-17. The title comes from a review by Kerryn Goldworthy in the Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum where she noted, 'The appeal of Ross Donlon's poems lies in the combination of technical skills with unusual lucidity. Donlon is interested in the many refined techniques of poetry but not at the expense of storytelling and straightforward emotion.'

Poetry Readings

Ross organized monthly poetry readings in four different venues in the Castlemaine district for over ten years, 2005-15.

Poetry in the Kitchen, a salon reading with feature poet and conversation, will begin at North Kitchen, 325 Barker Street (entrance in Hunter Street), Castlemaine, in October 2018. It is an opportunity for one poet to ‘stretch out’ for 25-30 minutes and interact with the audience.


Ross continues to travel and will be reading in London at Menzies House, King's College, and in Shrewsbury at the venue convened by Liz le Froy. He will return to the residency at Kunstnahuset Messen in Ålvik, Norway.

Ross in Schools

He has been Speaker and Reader at Castlemaine Secondary College and Writer in Residence at Presentation College, Windsor and Catholic College, Bendigo.

Festival Consultant

Ross has been a consultant for the biennial Castlemaine State Festival and has acted as convenor, MC and performer at many events.