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Philip Salom

Philip Salom


Philip Salom is a contemporary Australian poet and novelist whose poetry books have attracted widespread acclaim.

'Lamarckian Thoughts of the Father' by Philip Salom

June 2010, issue no. 322 01 June 2010
Son-biography: which are deft or lived thingswhich have jumped from him without genes.Passions, eccentricities, duty? I don’t believeLamarck, but I left his Quiet for her Talk,nagging the life out of things, worsened itword-wise, garrulous, and then heavied itbecause Saloms drink, his side, but genes,though he didn’t, and she offered her wholelife to the sobriety of wives. He voted soberbut ga ... (read more)

Philip Salom reviews 'New and Selected Poems' by Philip Martin, 'Labour Ward' by Jennifer Strauss, and 'Selected Poems' by Andrew Taylor

July 1988, no. 102 02 September 2022
Reading these three collections, I was struck by the recurring feel of travel and the great and traditional themes of love, death, and history. These books would not yield much for a study of regionality! As two of the books are selected poems and include work written over nearly thirty years by poets who have spent a lot of time overseas, the sense of history is perhaps not unusual. All the poets ... (read more)

Philip Salom reviews 'Seeing Things' by Kevin Brophy

November 1997, no. 196 01 November 1997
Every so often you come across a book of poetry which is just plain friendly, a book without tensions or terrors or angst to seize you – but which is consistently good poetry throughout. Seeing Things is such a book. It is so accessible in its straightforward diction and low-key tone that reading it is to feel very much spoken to, acknowledged. This is not a poetry foregrounding language or form ... (read more)

Philip Salom reviews 'Rocks in the Belly' by Jon Bauer

October 2010, no. 325 01 October 2010
The two narrators in this intense novel are the same person at different ages: the child of eight years who struggles against sibling displacement; and his twenty-eight-year-old self, scarred by his early years and obsessively revisiting them. The narrative documents these two periods of emotional turmoil in the unnamed protagonist’s alternating monologues. This anonymity may signify a lack of a ... (read more)

Philip Salom reviews 'The Rearrangement' by Alex Skovron

August 1989, no. 113 01 August 1989
From the very beginning of The Rearrangement the reader is involved in themes which will play repeatedly through the poems: learning, knowledge and memory, and the way in which these work to satisfy, or frustrate, a metaphysical sense of order, even truth. There is a great fight against forgetfulness: Trying to recall so much            and so much more beyond reca ... (read more)

Philip Salom reviews 'Children’s Games' by Geoffrey Lehmann and 'The House of Vitriol' by Peter Rose

November 1990, no. 126 01 November 1990
The ranking of books at the head of reviews often irritates me. So here let’s have it easy: age before beauty! Geoffrey Lehmanns’s collection is written in a style meditative at times and ranging in subject matter only very slightly; it is most frequently an intelligent description of a family after marriage breakdown. He delineates the daily routines, the moments of clarity and the emotional ... (read more)