The Rome Air Naked

Penguin, 1996

1996  Western Australian Premier’s Prize for Poetry – Shortlisted

A collection of poems based on Philip’s six-month Australia Council residency in Rome. Perhaps his most beautiful sequence yet, The Rome Air Naked speaks of love and absence, history and the sensual, Rome and new technology. It includes the largest group of love poems he has published and many (of what he has named) concurrent poems – fragments and samples and short poems mixed together on the page with letters, histories, etc. Also a selection of cut-up poems based on Philip’s prose accounts of Rome.

Praise for The Rome Air Naked

The multi-layered love affairs of this large and impressive collection are also multi-vocal: there is the noisy traffic of “rip, render and ecstacy” (where else but in Rome?) but there are also poems that speak eloquently of stillness, of listening to a silence in which a thought can fly towards the absent lover “like sunlight in your glass”.

Jennifer Strauss, Associate Professor of English, Monash University 

The Rome Air Naked is a challenging collection. Salom takes risks. His voice lies outside much of the fashionable obsessions evident in contemporary Australian poetry. He is a poet of bucking sensuality with a sense of the comic and the absurd. A poet most rewarding to read.

Ian Templeman, Australian Book Review

The Rome Air Naked is a ground-breaking book … innovative, entertaining and lyricalinnovative, entertaining and lyrical.

Andrew Burke, The West Australian 

Salom’s are tornado poems, spinning out and swirling everything in. “Nothing’s certain” he declares in one blunt sentence, and this is the condition of Salom’s poetic, world anywhere anytime. It is something Salom thrives on.

Dennis Haskell, Westerly

The Rome Air Naked is no longer available from the original publisher, but until final stocks run out, collectors in Australia can still purchase it at low cost from this website.