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 worrying Big with by indulging in dreams of home owenership. Little’s cousin, Angus, is a solitary man who designs lake-scapes for city councils, and 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 semiotics books on semiotics, her heart is turned towards her stalled personal life. All four are waiting, for something, if not someone.
I knew Philip was a poet but it was obvious to me by the final round that he was also a wonderful storyteller. As you are about to see, I was right. John Clarke
Stories with flashes of poetry and sudden insight and such profound compassion that they should be labelled.
WARNING: Could make the reader kinder. Send a copy to a politician. Sue Woolfe
About the Author
Philip Salom began publishing in 1980 and has written a dozen books of poetry, including several that have been attracted international praise for their expansive imagination and language. His book Sky Poems won the British Airways Commonwealth Poetry Prize in London for the overall Best Book of Poetry in the British Commonwealth and his first book The Silent Piano won the earlier Commonwealth Poetry Prize for Best First Book. He has received further acclaim through international reviews and from guest appearances in America, Canada, Britain, the Republics of Serbia and Macedonia, Italy, Singapore and New Zealand.
His two new books for 2011/2012 – as a sudden departure and an answering call to Portugese poet Fernando Pessoa’s use of heteronyms – are written through dramatically different heteronyms. The Keeper of Fish and Keeping Carter feature strongly lyric author-characters Alan Fish and M A Carter and complete the trilogy begun with Keepers (2010). Keepers is a hybrid verse-novel set in a Creative Arts School. In these new books, Fish is introspective and empathetic and Carter is badly- mannered and immoderate.
Salom’s recent collection The Well Mouth feature poems, voices, portraits and an underlying narrative in prose. The Well Mouth was named a Sydney Morning Herald Book of the Year, an Adelaide Review Book of the Year, and is now in its fourth printing. His two novels are Toccata and Rain (2005) which was shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal and the WA Premiers Prize for Fiction, and Playback, which won the WA Premiers Prize for Fiction.
Major awards (apart from the two Commonwealth Poetry Book Prizes in London) include the Western Australian Premiers Prize (twice for Poetry and once for Fiction) and the prestigious Newcastle Poetry Prize (in 1996 and again in 2000). He has received several major Australian Council Fellowships and also many shortlistings for his books.
In 2003 Philip Salom was recognised with the Christopher Brennan Award – a prize given for lifetime achievement in poetry, recognising a poet who produces work “of sustained quality and distinction”.