Prize-winning Author

Philip Salom

Philip Salom is a Melbourne writer, initially known for his exceptional poetry, which has won the Commonwealth Poetry Book Prize – twice. He made a seamless transition from poet to novelist in 1991. 

HOLOGRAMMATICAL is Philip’s fifteenth book of poetry. Philip’s sixth novel SWEENEY AND THE BICYCLES, followed the publication of THE FIFTH SEASON (longlisted for the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award), THE RETURNS and WAITING (both shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award).
Philip Salom Author
BOAO Award logo


Philip Salom won the Outstanding Achievement Award of the 4th Boao International Poetry Award, a major award for lifetime achievements in Poetry.   
The award ceremony was held at the Boao Asian Forum, Hainan, China in November 2021.

Philip Salom with Launcher Amanda Johnson
Audience at the launch of Hologrammatical


Hologrammatical was launched on Thursday 30 November 2023 by Amanda Johnson, award-winning writer and artist in conversation with Philip Salom. Amanda was introduced by David Musgrave, founder and publisher at Puncher & Wattmann.

North Melbourne’s Castle Hotel upstairs function room is an excellent venue and this is the third time that Philip has had a book launched here. See more photos from the launch night.

Philip read these poems from the new collection:
Operation at the Royal Melbourne
Not Being Lazarus (excerpts) The Weather Fugues (excerpt)
Two for Tim: And Then, You Said What it Was Like
Time and Motion: Accident
The Longer Earth
The Vladimir Taxonomy
Facing into it

Recent Books

Hologrammatical book cover


Philip Salom’s new poetry collection explores human and natural existence – as life-force and loss, and for diverse symptoms of achievement and folly. His intense scrutiny gives air to the unavoidable complexity of voices raised and voices ignored. Whether it’s injury and mortality (our own) or disturbance and urgency (our climate), Salom uses a subtle insight and a restless, inventive wit to create interweaving fugues through time and memory.

Sweeney and the Bicycles (front cover)

Sweeney and the Bicycles

Written with warmth and humour, this captivatingly original novel opens us up to an intimate world of marvellous characters and unexpected developments. Trauma is balanced by the joys and weirdness of everyday life. Friendship and family just may be found in the unlikeliest of places.

The Fifth Season book cover

The Fifth Season

Set in a small coastal town, The Fifth Season is a haunting and intriguing tale about a writer who is pre-occupied with the phenomenon of found people, a mural artist with a missing sister, and an old book that bears a striking resemblance to real life events…

The Fifth Season was longlisted for the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award

The Returns book cover

The Returns

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. 

The Returns was a finalist in the 2020 Miles Franklin Award


There is no greater honour than to be genuinely marginal, out of the way, not part of a powerful institution, your own person, alive

– Caryl Emerson, writer and critic