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Philip Salom Philip Salom i(A19030 works by)
Also writes as: Alan Fish ; M. A. Carter
Born: Established: 1950 Perth, Western Australia, ;
Gender: Male
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Philip Salom grew up on a dairy farm outside Brunswick Junction, south of Perth, Western Australia. He was educated at Bunbury High School and Muresk Agricultural College and worked at farming and cattle research, then later as a house-painter and gardener. He was a visual artist for several years before taking up further studies at Curtin University (then the Western Australian Institute of Technology). During this time, he began writing poetry.

The recipient of many awards including dual winner of the Commonwealth Poetry Prize in London, he was also the inaugural Resident in the B.R. Whiting Library Apartment in Rome. Besides poetry, Salom has written novels, literary reviews and articles for journals such as Australian Book Review, Overland, Westerly and Voices. He wrote the drama Always Then and Now, which was commissioned by and performed for The Festival of Perth and ABC Radio National.

Before moving to Melbourne, Salom was active for many years in the Western Australian literary scene as a creative writing tutor, a writer-in-residence, and an organiser of literary events. In the late 1990s he created text and image installations at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Mundaring Arts Centre and worked with Meredith Kidby on web-based and other multimedia events. He has been Poetry Editor (Victoria) for the poetry journal Blue Dog and has also judged national poetry awards and served on literary committees, including the 1987 Bicentennial Publications Grants Panel and the Katharine Susannah Prichard Foundation.

Outside Australia, he has been a writer-in-residence at Singapore National University and a guest writer/reader in Yugoslavia, the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy and New Zealand and has featured at such national and international events as the Sydney Writers' Festival, the Melbourne Writers' Festival, the Vancouver Writers' Festival and the Iowa International Writing Program.

He taught at Murdoch, Curtin and Deakin Universities before joining the staff of the School of Creative Arts at the University of Melbourne.

Of his writing, Salom says 'Much of my (recent) work has drawn on studies and research in neurological areas, particularly memory deficit - aphesia, amnesia and dementia... my writing has been exploring and monitoring consciousness and the various constructions, but also deconstructions of it through language - and the relationship between poetry and narrative.'

Source: Research profile, (Sighted 10.7.07, page no longer available)

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Fifth Season Yarraville : Transit Lounge , 2020 20062282 2020 single work novel

'Jack retreats to an Airbnb cottage in a small coastal town. As a writer he is pre-occupied with the phenomenon of found people: the Somerton Man, the Gippsland Man, the Isdal Woman, people who are found dead – their identities unknown or erased – and the mysterious pull this has on the public mind.

'In Blue Bay, as well as encountering the town’s colourful inhabitants, Jack befriends Sarah, whose sister Alice is one of the many thousands of people who go missing every year. Sarah has been painting her sister’s likeness in murals throughout the country, hoping that Alice will be found. Then Jack discovers a book about the people of the town, and about Sarah, which was written by a man who called himself Simon. Who once lived in the same cottage and created a backyard garden comprised of crazy mosaics. Until he too disappeared.

'While Sarah’s life seems beholden to an ambiguous grief, Jack’s own condition is unclear. Is he writing or dying? In The Fifth Season Philip Salom brings his virtuoso gifts for storytelling, humour and character to a haunting and unforgettable novel about the tenuousness of life and what it means to be both lost and found.

'‘An immensely wise, witty, recognisable and haunting story.’

Source: publisher's blurb

2021 longlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2021 longlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
y separately published work icon The Returns Yarraville : Transit Lounge , 2019 16673170 2019 single work novel

'Elizabeth posts a 'room for rent' notice in Trevor's bookshop and is caught off-guard when Trevor answers the ad himself. She expected a young student not a middle-aged bookseller whose marriage has fallen apart. But Trevor is attracted to Elizabeth's house because of the empty shed in her backyard, the perfect space for him to revive the artistic career he abandoned years earlier. The face-blind, EH Holden-driving Elizabeth is a solitary and feisty book editor, and she accepts him, on probation...

'In this poignant yet upbeat novel the past keeps returning in the most unexpected ways. Elizabeth is at the beck and call of her ageing mother, and the associated memories of her childhood in a Rajneesh community. Trevor's Polish father disappeared when Trevor was fifteen, and his mother died not knowing whether he was dead or alive. The authorities have declared him dead, but is he?

'The Returns is a story about the eccentricities, failings and small triumphs that humans are capable of, a novel that pokes fun at literary and artistic pretensions, while celebrating the expansiveness of art, kindness and friendship.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2020 shortlisted Queensland Literary Awards Fiction Book Award
2020 shortlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2020 longlisted APA Book Design Awards Best Designed Literary Fiction Book designed by Josh Durham, Design by Committee
y separately published work icon Waiting Glebe : Puncher and Wattmann , 2016 9178831 2016 single work novel

'Waiting is a story of two odd couples in prose as marvellously idiosyncratic as its characters. Big is a hefty cross-dresser and Little is little. Both are long used to the routines of boarding house life in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, but Little, with the prospect of an inheritance, is beginning to indulge in the great Australian dream, which has Big worried. Little's cousin, Angus, is a solitary man who designs lake-scapes for city councils, and strangely constructed fireproof houses for the bushfire zone. A handy man, he meets Jasmin an academic who races in her ideas as much as in her runners. Her head is set on publishing books on semiotics and her heart is turned towards her stalled personal life. All four are waiting, for something if not someone.' (Publication summary)

2017 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction
2017 shortlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Fiction

Known archival holdings

University of New South Wales Australian Defence Force Academy Australian Defence Force Academy Library (ACT)
Last amended 11 Jul 2014 11:25:57
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