In an entirely previous life, during the 1970s, Ross was a full-time tutor in English at Melbourne and Monash universities, having completed an Honours Language and Literature degree at Melbourne in 1972. As a poet, and indeed as an editor, he regards the intense close reading required by Melbourne’s Department of English in the 60s and 70s as having been formative, and he remains profoundly grateful to inspirational figures such as Vincent Buckley, Sam Goldberg, Penelope Curtis, Del Chessell, Robin Grove and Andrew Deacon.
In the early 1980s Ross was the inaugural poetry lecturer in the Creative Writing School at the then Prahran College of Advanced Education. Since then he has continued to run one-off poetry workshops from time to time. For five years until the end of 2022 Ross convened a weekly poetry workshop at Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre, which was attended both in person and on Zoom – regular participants included poets living in Melbourne and Brisbane.