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Shoppers' treat as Tragic Troubadors take poetic licence in Civic

FOR a bloke who approaches complete strangers and offers to read them a poem, Andrew Galan's knockback rate is surprisingly low.

Particularly for a man who has written a lot of his best material in the Canberra Centre food court.

''We all have day jobs,'' Galan said.

He is a member of a group of Canberra writers and performers called the Tragic Troubadours.

Canberrans will still have the opportunity to have a poem read to them by the wordsmiths who perform all their own material as part of entertainment being offered in Civic as part of Christmas celebrations.

''We're giving poems as presents,'' Galan said.

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Many territory residents would be familiar with the troubadours, who performed this year at the You Are Here festival.

They will be in Civic on Sunday afternoon giving passers-by a selection of poems, the longest of which go for two minutes. They always give people an easy way to say no, although it doesn't happen often.

Galan is a public servant with a degree in classic literature while other members of the group are pursuing a range of careers from IT to marketing.

Other comedians, actors and musicians will perform in Civic Square from 1pm to 3pm as part of a segment called What's Up Camel? which will entertain people waiting for camel rides.

On Monday from 5pm, a roving photographer will be taking Christmas-themed photos of anyone keen to have their picture taken.