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, 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, 2 collections of short stories, a monograph of lectures on creative research and had 10 dramatic works performed/produced in Australia, Philippines, US, Canada, Spain, Singapore, China, France, Slovakia and Thailand. She also has more than a hundred literary and scholarly works published in various anthologies, journals and magazines. Her literary awards include the 2021 Canberra Critics' Circle Award for her collection of short stories The Kindness of Birds; the 2016 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, NSW Premier's Literary Award for her novel Locust Girl. A Lovesong; three Philippine National Book 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 sixth poetry book Accidents of Composition was Highly Commended for the 2018 ACT Book of the Year. Her shortlistings include the 2016 ACT Book of the Year for Locust Girl, 2006 Australian 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

Book of scholarly essays in progress: Border Lover: Creative-Critical Essays on Arts Practice. Community projects with publication outcomes: 1) Sulatan sa Panahon ng Pandemya ('Letter Writing in the Time of Pandemic'): Project involving women letter writers in the Philippines, Australia and US; 2) Nature-Culture Ecology = Nature-Culture Pedagogy: Nature and Culture Conservation Project for Philippine High Schools.


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