Philip Salom was born in Western Australia and lived in the state’s South West farming areas. During this time he also studied and worked in cattle research and agricultural extension. After several years of painting he turned to writing.
Since 1980 he has produced fourteen books of poetry and five novels. His awards for poetry have been both national and international, and include twice winning the Commonwealth Poetry Book Prize in London, the Western Australian Premier’s Prize (twice) and the Newcastle Poetry Prize (in 1996 and again in 2000). Philip has also been recognised with the prestigious Christopher Brennan Award, a lifetime award for poetry “of sustained quality and distinction”.
His collection The Well Mouth was named a Sydney Morning Herald Book of the Year, and Adelaide Review Book of the Year. Two slightly unexpected collections by Salom are written through his heteronyms—The Keeper of Fish by Alan Fish, and Keeping Carter by MA Carter. In 2015 Philip published the poetry trilogy Alterworld which includes Sky Poems, The Well Mouth and the new section Alterworld in a searching and strange interrogation of history and consciousness through imagined human ‘worlds’.
His novels have also attracted wide-ranging acclaim—through reviews in major papers, journals and award lists. The Returns was shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award and the Queensland Premier’s Prize. In 2016, Waiting was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin and the Prime Minister’s Award. His two earlier novels are Toccata and Rain which was shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal and the WA Premier’s Prize for Fiction, and Playback which won the WA Premier’s Prize for Fiction.
His new novel is The Fifth Season, a story based around missing persons and disappearances and, perhaps more strangely, the phenomenon of found people: people who are found dead, their identities unknown or erased.
He has read as a guest writer in America, Canada, Britain, the Republics of Serbia and Macedonia, Italy, Singapore and New Zealand.
Datsun Tran is an Australian multidisciplinary artist, his work primarily features the natural world, though it is about us, the human story. His work has explored themes of conflict and utopia, filtered through the lens of what we have in common, rather than what separates us.
Tran has exhibited extensively in Australia, as well as North America, Asia and Europe. He has had over twenty-five solo and group shows, exhibited in over thirty art fairs, and has been a finalist in over thirty-five art prizes.
Ellen Shelley grew up in Adelaide. Her life changed considerably when she entered the ARMY at aged 18. She travelled extensively around Australia and overseas in the Signals Core. She has now settled by the harbour in Newcastle where she continues to raise her four children while enjoying the passion of writing poetry with purpose and direction.
She writes in response to real-life events, and her own and others’ emotions. She publishes on various platforms, she says, “including a sidewalk in Adelaide, but you can only read it when it rains.”
Ellen’s writing speaks of a diverse range of struggles. It delves into the mundane, how she arrives there with or without acceptance. Her voice carries a mother’s tone. It is strong without denying her weakness, alone in a fight, shared by many. These poems emerge from a place of digging around the wires of disconnect, the not fitting in. Raised in a family of stepbrothers and stepsisters and a procession of stepmothers, she soon learnt the art of resilience and the need to find her own voice in the world
Her favourite quote is by Robert Frost: «For me the initial delight is in the surprise of remembering something I didn’t know I knew. I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing … is discovering.»
Melbourne-born Marcia Jacobs lived in New York (1977–93) where she worked as editorial assistant at Doubleday Publishing for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. On her return to Australia, Marcia devoted her time to teaching and more recently, writing. Her essays and poems have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies here and abroad. These include Meanjin, Westerly, Poetica Magazine, Voices Israel and Singing For All He’s Worth—Essays in Honour of Jacob G. Rosenberg (Picador).
Marcia is the daughter of the late Australian poet and author Jacob G. Rosenberg, winner of the National Biography Prize (2007) for his memoir East of Time.
She is also the mother of three daughters, each one an artist in her own right.
Gloria Stern is a visual artist currently living and working in Melbourne, Australia. She grew up in Melbourne and originally trained in Graphic Design. After working in the design industry for several years both in England and Australia, she then switched across to full time painting. Since 1996, she has had 12 solo exhibitions and has been included in numerous group shows.
Gloria’s paintings have been acquired for private collections in Australia, UK, USA, and New Zealand. Her works are also featured in the collections of Cowan Design, Melbourne, and the City of Boroondara Collection, Melbourne.
I have always been interested in exploring both figuration and abstraction in my painting, however, over the last couple of years, I made a conscious effort to remove the figurative element from my work in order to explore spatial relationships, colour and atmosphere within abstraction more deeply. This body of work led up to my last solo exhibition “Altered Space” in 2019. Since then, my interest in the figure is returning, but I think, in a less literal way than before. I am currently exploring ways of using figurative elements as more integrated abstract shapes, that allow for a freer interpretation of meaning.
Judy Johnson is an multi-award winning writer who has been publishing her work for over 20 years. She has written five full-length poetry collections, several chapbooks and a novel. Her verse novel Jack was the result of a mentorship with the late Dorothy Porter. Jack won the Victorian Premier’s Award for poetry and was a text taught in University of Sydney and University of Melbourne . She has had writing residencies in Ireland at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in County Monaghan, The Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre in Western Australia, and in many other places. Her interests have always centred around Australian history and her latest poetry book, Dark Convicts, deals with the life and times of her two First Fleet African American convict ancestors.
Steven Warburton is currently working (in Emerald) and exhibiting in Melbourne, Australia. Since completing a Fine Arts degree at Monash University, Steve has exhibited widely, in group and solo exhibitions. His paintings and drawings are held in collections Australia-wide and internationally.
As an artist’s work is a reflection of his or her emotions, ideals, thoughts and influences, it is necessary to understand the importance the work plays in the artist’s life.
My work is the direct result of things that I have borne witness to, overheard in conversations, observed in the media or dreamt. It reflects my right to express my thoughts, in a way I hope will be accessible to the viewer, both aesthetically and literally.
As the world around us changes, the environment, the politics, our society, thus my imagery changes too.
Sebastian Steensen is a Melbourne-based artist who has worked for over 20 years in the areas of painting, drawing and, occasionally, printmaking and photography.
After tertiary studies in Fine Arts, and a stint as an art teacher in China, I’ve staged a few one-person exhibitions, and been included in group exhibitions.
My work is strongly figurative, and it follows the tradition of western narrative painting. I believe it is informed by my drawing ability. But, technically, I always wish to combine this with painterly aspects, by which I hope to move the imagery beyond illustrational ‘recording,’ into more robust psychological territory.