20 September 1949 |
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia1
|Occupation||Writer, Academic, Editor|
|Genres||Fiction, Adult, Young Adult, Children, Poetry|
Philip Max Neilsen (born 20 September 1949) is an Australian poet, fiction writer for adults, young adults and children, and editor. He is professor of creative writing and English at the Queensland University of Technology.
Neilsen was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. His grandparents and great grandparents were emigrants to Australia from Norway, Scotland, England and Germany. He attended Brisbane Grammar School and the University of Queensland where he gained honours, masters and doctoral degrees in English and taught for nine years. He founded the creative writing program at the Queensland University of Technology in 1997. He has been a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. Previously, he has been Chair of the Queensland Writers Centre. Neilsen is married to legal ethicist Mhairead MacLeod.
Writing and editing 
Neilsen’s work uses satire, comic fantasy and realism to explore social, environmental and personal subjects. Favourite writers he has mentioned include W. H. Auden, Philip Roth, Margaret Atwood, David Malouf, Kurt Vonnegut, Judith Wright, Roald Dahl, Billy Collins and Elizabeth Bishop. His poetry earned a Young Writer’s Fellowship from the Australia Council in 1976. Edward Britton , a young adult novel co-authored with Gary Crew was a CBC Australian notable Book in 2001. His work has been translated into Chinese, German, Korean and Serbian. His poetry was included in the 2008 Norton anthology The Making of a Sonnet (Eds. Edward Hirsch & Eavan Boland). He wrote the first monograph of literary criticism on David Malouf’s work, Imagined Lives (UQP, 1990 & 1996) and edited the first collections of Australian satirical poetry (The Penguin Book of Australian Satirical Verse (1986) and The Sting in the Wattle (UQP, 1993). Neilsen’s poetry has been acclaimed by Les Murray, John Kinsella, Bronwyn Lea, and Bruce Dawe, among others.
His areas of research include creative writing arts therapy for those with schizophrenia and other mental illness, and eco-criticism.
Poetry books 
Faces of a Sitting Man (Makar Press, 1975).
The Art of Lying (Makar Press, 1979)
Life Movies (QCP, 1981)
We’ll All Go Together (with Barry O’Donohue)(QCP, 1983)
Without an Alibi (Salt: Cambridge, 2008)
Children’s and young adult books 
Emma and the Megahero (Reed Books, 1995)
The Lie (Lothian, 1997)
The Wombat King, (Lothian, 1997)
Edward Britton (with Gary Crew) (Lothian, 2000)
Splot the Viking (Penguin, 2008)
Scholarly Books 
Imagined Lives: A Study of David Malouf (University of Queensland Press, 1996)
The Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing Co-edited with David Morley (CUP, 2013)
Short stories 
His short stories have appeared in The State of the Art (ed. Frank Moorhouse), Paradise to Paranoia (eds. Nigel Krauth and Robyn Sheehan), Latitudes (ed. Susan Johnson), The Dark House (ed. Gary Crew) and journals such as Southerly, Overland and Linq[disambiguation needed]. The autobiographical essay ‘Humility’ appeared in Eleven Saving Virtues (ed. Ross Fitzgerald). A digital story ‘The Storyteller’ is available at
Review of Without an Alibi in Australian Book Review June, 2008.