Born: Established: 22 Mar 1949 London ;
Alan Gould was born in London of English-Icelandic parents and and as the child of a British Army serviceman, moved and lived with his family in England, Ireland, Iceland, Germany and Singapore before coming to Australia in 1966. During his time as a university student, Gould was active in anti-Vietnam war demonstrations and protests. After completing an arts degree at the Australian National University he worked at various occupations, including relief teacher, nuclear physics technician and agricultural labourer. Since 1975 he has been a full-time writer supplemented by occasional periods of teaching.
Gould is widely-admired as a writer of fiction, poetry and essays and his books have won numerous awards. He published his first book of poetry in 1978 and his first novel in 1984. His early poems derived from Norse mythology and exhibited a strong interest in early ocean exploration. But he has also explored Australian themes such as the archetype of the Australian workman. Gould's fiction also exhibits an interest in the sea, but he used settings in Australia and England during World War II for his highly regarded novel To the Burning City (1991). Experimenting stylistically with both poetry and fiction, Gould's most recent novel, The Schoonermaster's Dance (2000), employs an epistolary structure to great effect.
He was a founding editor of Canberra Poetry and Open Door Press (q.v.) and has been poetry reviewer with the Nation Review and Poetry Australia.
Gould has been awarded several fellowships from The Australia Council and has been a writer-in-residence at institutions in Australia and the United Kingdom. In 2002 he received an ACT Creative Arts Fellowship to work on a novel with the working title Life Drawings.