is a well known Australian poet/artist whose literary works have been published and broadcast since the mid-seventies. The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature describes Kelen’s work as “innovative and intellectually sharp.” Kelen’s first volume of poetry The Naming of the Harbour and the Trees won an Anne Elder Award in 1992. In 1996, Kelen was Writer-in-Residence for the Australia Council at the 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 of essay and watercolours, titled, “Shui Yi Meng/Sleep to Dream,” was shown at the Montblanc Gallery.
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 Dante’s Divine Comedy,” was published with the aid of the Hong Kong Arts Development Board in 2003. In 2004, Kelen’s chapbook Wyoming Suite, “a North American sojurn,” was released by Virtual Artists’ Collective Publishing (VAC) 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. Kelen's most recent volume of poems is Eight Days in Lhasa (VAC, 2006).
A new volume of Macao poems, Dredging the Delta, is forthcoming from Cinnamon Press in the U.K. Kelen’s collection of Macao stories and poems, A Map of the Seasons, is currently being published by the Association of Stories in Macao (ASM), together with a novel, A Wager with the Gods, both works being launched at Creative Macau (CCI) to coincide with the current exhibition, “Bridges and Boats.” In 2006, Kelen is a featured poet in a number of international poetry journals, including The Drunken Boat, Segue, Softblow, 63 Channels, The Poetry Kit and Sirena.
Apart from poetry, Kelen publishes in a range of theoretical areas including writing pedagogy, ethics, rhetoric, cultural and literary studies. Kelen’s Macao drawings and paintings have been featured in a number of international journals, including Foame, Philament, Dim Sum, Postcolonial Text and Segue. Kelen was shortlisted for last year's Phillipe Charriol Art Prize in Hong Kong and he is a member of Macau ArtNet (where he was featured as an artist of the month in 2005). In April of 2006, Kelen had a solo exhibition of watercolour landscape works titled “Sketches of Macao: Some Views form the Island of Taipa” in the gallery of the International Library at the University of Macao.
Kelen is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Macao, where he has taught Literature and Creative Writing since 2000. Kelen is the principal investigator in the University of Macao’s “Poems and Stories of Macao Research Project” and the editor of the on-line journal Writing Macao: creative text and teaching.