Creative Macau

Center for Creative Industries


Christopher Kelen

Christopher Kelen is a well-known Australian poet whose works have been widely published and broadcast since the mid seventies. The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature describes Kelen’s work as ‘typically innovative and intellectually sharp’. Kelen holds degrees in literature and linguistics from the University of Sydney and a doctorate on the teaching of the writing process, from UWS Nepean. Kelen’s first volume of poetry The Naming of the Harbour and the Treeswon an Anne Elder Award in 1992. In 1988 Kelen had won an ABA/ABC bicentennial award with his poem ‘Views from Pinchgut’. In 1996 Kelen was Writer-in-Residence for the Australia Council at the B.R.Whiting Library in Rome. In 1999 he won the Blundstone National Essay Contest, conducted by Island journal. He also won second prize in the Gwen Harwood Poetry Award that year. In 2000 Kelen’s poetry/art collaboration (with Carol Archer) Tai Mo Shan/Big Hat Mountain was exhibited at the Montblanc Gallery in Hong Kong’s Fringe Club. And in 2001 another collaboration (essay and watercolour) titled Shui Yi Meng/Sleep to Dream was shown at the Montblanc Gallery. Both exhibitions have been published as full color catalogues. Kelen’s fourth book of poems, Republics, dealing with the ethics of identity in millennial Australia, was published by Five Islands Press in Australia in 2000. A fifth volume, New Territories – a pilgrimage through Hong Kong, structured after Danté’s Divine Comedy – was published with the aid of the Hong Kong Arts Development Board in 2003. In 2004 Kelen’s most recent chapbook Wyoming Suite – a North American sojurn – was released by VAC Publishing in Chicago. In 2005, Kelen’s long poem ‘Macao’ was shortlisted for the prestigious Newcastle Poetry Prize and a re-edited version of Tai Mo Shan appeared in Southerly. Apart from poetry, Kelen publishes in a range of theoretical areas including writing pedagogy, ethics, rhetoric, cultural and literary studies and various intersections of these. Kelen currently teaches Creative Writing and Children’s Literature at the University of Macau in South China. Kelen is the principal investigator in the University of Macau’s ‘Poems and Stories of Macao Research Project’ and the editor of the on-line journal Writing Macao: creative text and teaching. In 2005 a collection of Kelen’s watercolor Macao landscapes was shortlisted for the Phillipe Chariol Art Prize in Hong Kong.


It’s a head scratch, isn’t it?

26th March — 9th April, 2008

Kit Kelen Solo Exhibition

25th November — 15th December, 2006

We are going to hold an Exhibition.