Brian Dibble received his high school education in Indianapolis and completed a PhD at Chicago University. He arrived in Western Australia in 1972 from the United States to take up the position as Foundation Head of the School of Communication and Cultural Studies at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University). He was a key figure in beginning the Creative Writing course at that institution. Dibble is Professor of Comparative Literature as well as Head of the School of Communication and Cultural Studies.
Dibble has been president of the Perth PEN Centre and the Fellowship of Australian Writers (WA). He has also served on the committee of the Australian Society of Authors. Published in Australian and American journals and anthologies, Dibble's work includes poetry and short stories. He is editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal, a founding editor of the Australian Journal of Cultural Studies, has written/edited more than a dozen books and is known for his critical/biographical work on William Hart-Smith and Elizabeth Jolley. In 2001 Curtin University awarded its Ethics, Equity and Social Justice Award to him and Kim Collard of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies, and in 2005 Curtin's Guild of Students named him the university's best graduate supervisor.
'Elizabeth Jolley was a fine writer. Her publishing career began when she was in her 50s in Australia, but as author Brian Dibble demonstrates, her writing developed through the decades in England and Scotland, from her family of origin, to boarding schools and hospital wards, and into her independent adult life. The array of wild characters in her fiction - misfits and those on the edge of society - can also be found in the Jolley's remarkable life. It could be said that the times suited Jolley's rise as a major Australian writer, when old habits - of who and what could be published - were broken. Brian Dibble was given complete access to the writer's private papers and has spent more than a decade travelling the world to follow leads on the story of Elizabeth Jolley. This is a lyrical and readable biography, one that presents a world of family and pleasures, but is always infused somewhere with an unexpended sadness.' (Publication summary)