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Christopher Kelen Christopher Kelen i(A30163 works by) (a.k.a. Kit Kelen; 客遠文)
Born: Established: 1958 Sydney, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Male
Heritage: Hungarian
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Christopher Kelen is a poet and scholar. The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature describes Kelen's work as 'typically innovative and intellectually sharp'. Kelen holds degrees in literature and linguistics from the University of Sydney and two doctorates from the University of Western Sydney: a PhD in the area of poetics and an EdD in Critical Pedagogy of Creative Writing. In 1996, Kelen was Writer-in-Residence for the Australia Council at the B. R. Whiting Library in Rome. Kelen has worked as an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Macau, where he has taught Literature and Creative Writing. He has been the principal investigator in the University of Macau's 'Poems and Stories of Macao Research Project'. In 2010 Kelen coordinated a poetry translation retreat at Bundanon in New South Wales, part of an ongoing project translating Australian poets into Chinese.

Kelen is also a visual artist, and his art works have been widely exhibited. In 2000, Kelen's poetry/art collaboration (with Carol Archer) 'Tai Mo Shan/Big Hat Mountain' was exhibited at the Montblanc Gallery in Hong Kong's Fringe Club, and in 2001 another collaboration (essay and watercolour) titled 'Shui Yi Meng/Sleep to Dream' was shown at the Montblanc Gallery. Both exhibitions have been published as full colour catalogues. In 2007, Kelen edited a feature entitled 'Poetry of Response' which appears in Jacket magazine. In 2014, his work was displayed at the Macao Museum of Art in the exhibition Pictures of Nothing at All : The Art and Poetry of Kit Kelen.

Kelen has published in a range of theoretical areas, including writing pedagogy, ethics, rhetoric, cultural and literary studies and various intersections of these. In 2009, he published two theoretical works, Poetry, Consciousness and Community and City of Poets, an English-language study of Macao poets. He has also co-edited two collections of scholarly works about children's literature: The Nation in Children's Literature : Nations of Childhood (2013) and Child Autonomy and Child Governance in Children's Literature (2016). Kelen has edited the on-line journal Poetry Macao and has worked as poetry editor for the monthly lifestyle/contemporary affairs journal Macao Closer, which also published a collection of children's short stories, including Kelen's 'The Boy Who Went Under the Border'.

His poetry collections have been published in Chinese, Portuguese, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Indonesian, and Filipino. As a translator, he has translated works from Chinese, Portuguese, French, and Norwegian. Among his awards are the Anne Edler Award, the Gwen Harwood Prize, the Patricia Hackett Prize, and the Newcastle Poetry Prize. His most recent collection appeared in 2018.

Since 2016, he has facilitated Project 366, an online community of practice, where poets and visual artists post draft works. In 2018, he began the collaborative project A Conversation in Poetry, where poets and artists respond in kind to each others' work.

As well as the works recorded here, Kelen has edited over ten collections of Macau short stories, including The First Dozen Stories, Ten Tales for Kids, Four Seasons, and The SARS Story: A South China Decameron.

Most Referenced Works


  • Son of Stephen Estaban Kelen and brother of S. K. Kelen (qq.v.).
  • Between 12 September and 19 October 2014, an exhibition titled 'Pictures of Nothing at All: The Art and Poetry of Kit Kelen' was held at the Macao Arts Window (Montra des Artes de Macau).

Personal Awards

Last amended 1 Feb 2021 13:01:10
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