Philip Hammial

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Philip Hammial
Born (1937-01-10) 10 January 1937 (age 79)
Detroit, Michigan
Occupation Poet, publisher, editor, artist, art curator
Known for Poetry and art
Spouse(s) Anne Welch
Children One child

Philip Roby Hammial (born 1937) is an Australian poet, publisher, editor, artist and art curator. He has a long list of achievements in writing, publishing and sculpting. His achievements include twenty-four collections of poetry, thirty solo sculpture exhibitions, and acting as the director/curator of The Australian Collection of Outsider Art, twenty-six exhibitions of Australian Outsider Art in five countries.

Hammial's significance to Australian poetry has been recognised by the Australia Council, which awarded him a Senior Writer's Fellowship in 1996, an Established Writer's Fellowship in 2004 and the Nancy Keesing Studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2009.


Hammial (born 1937) grew up in and around Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Farmington High School in 1954. After three years in the engine rooms of US Navy ships he went to Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan, and then to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he 'discovered' poetry, art, philosophy and history. Graduating with honours in English Literature and Philosophy in 1963, he went on to travel the world for a total of eleven years, visiting eighty-one countries & working in three – Denmark, England and Greece. In 1972 he arrived in Sydney on a tourist visa and nine months later was granted a resident visa. He is now an Australian citizen, married to Anne Welch an English as a second language teacher, with one child, Genevieve Aloka, born in 1997, and has been living in the Blue Mountains since 1994. Hammial started work at the age of twelve and had over one hundred jobs in five countries before retiring in 2000. A member of the Woodford Bush Fire Brigade between 1995 and 2003, Hammial fought many of the fires that raged through the Blue Mountains during those years. An environmental and human rights activist, he has worked as a volunteer for the Wilderness Society and for the Free Tibet Action Group.

Literary and artistic career[edit]

Hammial has published twenty-eight collections of poetry and is the editor of "25 poètes australiens", an anthology published in Trois-Rivières and Paris. He is also the editor (with Ulli Beier and Rudi Krausmann) of the seminal "Outsider Art in Australia". As the director of The Australian Collection of Outsider Art, he has curated or helped to organise twenty-six exhibitions of Australian Outsider Art – in Australia, Germany, France, Belgium and the United States. The most recent exhibition – "Australian Outsiders" (23 artists) – spent two months at the Orange Regional Gallery, seven weeks at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and then went to the Halle St. Pierre in Paris for six months (September 2006 to February 2007) where it was very well received. Hammial himself is also an artist. He has had thirty-three solo exhibitions and his work has been included in over seventy group exhibitions. In 1979 he became the editor of Island Press. The oldest small press in Australia still publishing poetry, Island was founded in 1970 by Philip Roberts and has published sixty titles to date.

Two of his poetry collections were short-listed for the Kenneth Slessor Prize – "Bread" in 2001 and "In the Year of Our Lord Slaughter's Children" in 2004 and one was short-listed for the ACT Poetry Prize – "Skin Theory" in 2010. His poems have appeared in 29 poetry anthologies in six countries and in 118 journals in fourteen countries. He has represented Australia at twelve international poetry festivals – Poetry Africa 2000 in Durban, South Africa; the Festival Franco-Anglais de Poesie, Paris, 2000 and 2015; The World Festival of Poets, Tokyo, 2000; the Festival International de la Poésie, Trois-Rivières, 2004; the Micro Festival, Prague, 2009 and 2015; the Festival Franco-Anglais de Poesie, Melbourne, 2010; the Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin (Colombia) 2012 and the Festival Internacional de Poesia de Granada (Nicaragua) 2014; the Val-de-Marne International Poetry Festival, Paris, 2015 and the Struga Poetry Evenings, Struga, Macedonia, 2015. In 2001 he had a one-month writer-in-residency at the Fundacion Valparaiso in Mojacar, Spain and for six months in 2009/10 he was the Australian writer-in-residence at the Cité International des Arts in Paris.


2010: short-listed for the ACT Poetry Prize

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • 2015: "Ticket to Ride", Island Press (Australia)
  • 2014: "Sky Burials", Island Press (Australia)
  • 2012: "Detroit", Island Press (Australia)
  • 2011: "The Beast Should Comply" Flying Island (Macao)
  • 2010: "Drink from the Animal", Island Press (Australia)
  • 2009: "Skin Theory", Puncher & Wattmann (Australia)
  • 2008: "Wig Hat On", Island Press,
  • 2007: "Juggernaut", Island Press,
  • 2006: "Sugar Hits', Island Press,
  • 2005: "Voodoo Realities", Island Press,
  • 2005: "Swan Song", Picaro Press
  • 2003: "In the Year of Our Lord Slaughter's Children", Island
                                Press Co-operative
  • 2000: "Auto One", Vagabond Press
  • 2000: "Bread", Black Pepper
  • 1996: "Black Market" (in The Wild Life), Penguin
  • 1995: "Just Desserts", Island Press,
  • 1994: "With One Skin Less", Hale & Iremonger
  • 1989: "Travel/Writing" (with Ania Walwicz), Angus & Robertson
  • 1988: "Pell Mell", Black Lightning Press
  • 1985: "Vehicles" (with Anthony Mannix), Island Press
  • 1985: "Squeeze", Island Press
  • 1979: "Swarm", Island Press
  • 1978: "More Bath, Less Water", Red Press
  • 1977: "Hear Me Eating", Makar Press
  • 1977: "Mastication Poems", The Saturday Centre
  • 1977: "Chemical Cart", Island Press
  • 1976: "Footfalls & Notes", The Saturday Centre

As editor[edit]

  • 2006: "25 poètes australiens", editor, Ecrits des Forges
  • 1989: "Outsider Art in Australia", co-editor, Aspect


  • Wilde, W., Hooton, J. & Andrews, B. (1994) "The Oxford Companion of Australian

Literature" 2nd ed. South Melbourne, Oxford University Press

External links[edit]