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The Australian National University

Dr Merlinda Bobis

Doctorate of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong 1995. Master or Arts in Literature, University of Santo Tomas Manila 1987. Bachelor of Arts, Aquinas University of Legazpi 1980
Honorary Senior Lecturer
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Performing Arts And Creative Writing 1904
  • Creative Writing (Incl. Playwriting) 190402
  • Performing Arts And Creative Writing Not Elsewhere Classified 190499
  • Other Studies In Creative Arts And Writing 1999

Research interests

Novel, Short story, Poetry, Performance, Creative-critical practice, Creative-critical empathy, Creative arts and advocacy, Water as environment and culture, Conflict and trauma, Postcolonialism, Transnationalism, Borders


Dr. Merlinda Bobis is a trilingual Filipino-Australian writer, performer, and scholar. She published 4 novels, 6 poetry books, a collection of short stories, and had 9 dramatic works performed/produced in Australia, Philippines, US, Canada, Spain, Singapore, China, France, and Slovakia. She also published close to a hundred short literary pieces in various anthologies, journals and magazines. Her literary awards include the 2016 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction NSW Premier's Literary Award for her novel Locust Girl. A Lovesong; three Philippine National Books Awards (2016: Locust Girl, 2014: Fish-Hair Woman, 2000: White Turtle); 2013 MUBA: Fish-Hair Woman; 2000 Steele Rudd Award for the Best Published Collection of Australian Short Stories: White Turtle; 2006 Philippine National Balagtas Award: poetry and prose (in English, Filipino and Bikol); 1998 Prix Italia, 1998 Australian Writers' Guild Award and 1995 Ian Reed Radio Drama Prize for her play Rita's Lullaby; three Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards in Literature Poetry Category (2016: Second prize, 1989: Second, 1987: First). Her shortlistings include the 2016 ACT Book of the Year for Locust Girl, 2006 Literature Society Gold Medal for her first novel Banana Heart Summer and the 1998 The Age Poetry Book of the Year for Summer Was a Fast Train Without Terminals. Her scholarly works are negotiations between creative and critical practice in relation to lived politics and advocacy. She taught Creative Writing for 21 years at University of Wollongong, and English and Literature for 10 years at Philippine tertiary institutions: De La Salle University of Manila, University of Santo Tomas, Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

Researcher's projects

6th poetry book: 'Accidents of Composition' for publication in 2017. 'Intercultural Waters Project' (collaborative research project on water as environment and culture with Dr. Lucy Neave and 3 other scholars in Australia and China).


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Updated:  17 December 2018 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers