Philip Salom

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Philip Salom (born 8 August 1950) is a contemporary Australian poet and novelist whose books have attracted widespread acclaim. He has published sixteen books - fourteen collections of poetry and two novels - notable for their originality and expansiveness and for surprising differences from title to title.

Biography[edit]

Growing up on a farm in Brunswick Junction in the South West region of Western Australia. Salom had an isolated childhood before boarding at Bunbury during his high school years. He went on to study agriculture at Muresk Agricultural College and then worked for two years as a research assistant on the Northam Research Station. While studying Agricultural Science at University of Western Australia he developed his passion for the arts, painting and singing in the university choir. Uninterested in his course he left university, took various casual jobs, and started writing on a 1972 painting trip to New Zealand. On returning to Perth he enrolled in Curtin University's Literature and Creative Writing course, one of the first of its kind in Australia.

On graduating he took a job with the public service in his old area of agriculture. His first poetry collection was published by Fremantle Arts Centre Press in 1980. Since then there have been many poetry collections and two novels. Salom has won both national and international acclaim for his poetry. For most of these years he taught Creative Writing at Curtin and Murdoch University in Western Australia. Late in 1997 he moved with his family to Melbourne. In the next years he lectured at Deakin University and finally at the University of Melbourne. In 2008 he resigned from lecturing and has been writing full-time.

His writing is distinctive for its metaphoric richness and expansive vision. It is also hugely various from title to title; his creative restlessness extends not only to style but also to conceptual paradigms. Since his first collection, many of his books have depicted imagined worlds or explored conceptually contained sequences - books such as The Projectionist, Sky Poems, The Rome Air Naked, The Well Mouth and Keepers. Keepers is part of a trilogy which is extended through two more books The Keeper of Fish, and Keeping Carter, books ostensibly written by Alan Fish and MA Carter, respectively. These are heteronyms for Salom's recent work.

In 2014 Flying Island Books (Macao) published Salom's pocket book of poems Between Yes and No, in English and Mandarin, translated by Chris Song Zijiang and Iris Fan Xing. And in 2015 Alterworld (published by Puncher & Wattmann) completes the trilogy of Sky Poems, The Well Mouth and Alterworld - three imagined worlds in one set of covers.

Philip Salom has performed as a guest poet and lecturer in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Yugoslavia, Singapore and New Zealand.

Bibliography[edit]

Poetry[edit]

Novels[edit]

Awards and honours[edit]

  • 1981: Commonwealth Poetry Prize for a First Book (The Silent Piano)
  • 1984: Western Australian Literary Award for Poetry (The Projectionist)
  • 1984: South Australian Biennial Literary Award for Poetry - official Second Prize (The Projectionist)
  • 1985: Writers Fellowship, Australia Council
  • 1987: Commonwealth Poetry Prize for Overall Best Book (Sky Poems)
  • 1987: The Age Book of the Year - only poetry book shortlisted (Sky Poems)
  • 1987: Barbara Ramsden Award, Highly Commended (Sky Poems)
  • 1988: WA Literary Award for Poetry (Sky Poems)
  • 1989: Writers Fellowship, Australia Council
  • 1990: shortlisted National Book Council Banjo Award and Western Australian Literary Award (Barbecue of the Primitives)
  • 1992: WA Premiers Prize for Fiction (Playback)
  • 1992: Australia-New Zealand Literary Award, NZ Arts Council
  • 1992: Inaugural BR Whiting Residency in Rome, Australia Council
  • 1993: shortlisted Victorian Premiers Prize, National Book council Banjo Award, WA Premiers Prize (Feeding the Ghost)
  • 1996: shortlisted WA Premiers Prize (The Rome Air Naked)
  • 1996: Newcastle Poetry Prize
  • 1999: shortlisted Victorian Premiers Prize, WA Premiers Prize (New and Selected Poems)
  • 2000: Newcastle Poetry Prize
  • 2003: Christopher Brennan Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry
  • 2004: shortlisted ALS Gold Medal for Literature, WA Premiers Prize (Toccata and Rain)
  • 2005: A Best Book of the Year, Sydney Morning Herald, Adelaide Review (The Well Mouth)
  • 2006: SA Premiers Prize for Poetry, shortlisted (The Well Mouth)
  • 2006/7: Writers Fellowship

External links[edit]

References[edit]