Adam Aitken is a poet, memoirist, academic and editor (with Kim Cheng Boey and Michelle Cahill) of Contemporary Asian Australian Poets (Puncher & Wattmann 2013). his most recent book is 100 Letters Home from Vagabond Press.
His work appears in the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature, Jacket2, Southerly, and in Life Writing.
He is a writing analyst at the University of Technology, Sydney.
“In a recent outing with Aitken, you can find “The Hybrid Vigor Institute is dedicated/ to stimulating unconventional/ thinking and/ unexpected discoveries . . .” and the subsequent warning that “To one like you, who cannot access it, you/ may perceive it only as light.” Beware the refrain of ‘hybridity’, reader, don’t whole this pigeon till it’s cooked.”
Michael Brennan: Poetry International Web
Born in London in 1960 to an Anglo-Australian father and a Thai mother, Adam spent his childhood in South-east Asia, before migrating to Australia where he graduated from the University of Sydney in 1982. In 1982 he spent six months living with his relatives and learning Thai in Bangkok. He was a co-editor of the poetry magazine P76, named after a failed Leyland car model, and for a time was associate poetry editor for Heat magazine. He has traveled widely, visiting Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia; his experiences overseas continue to inform his poetry.
Aitken published his first collection, Letter to Marco Polo, in 1985. He has since published five further poetry collections, and his poems and short fiction have also been published widely in anthologies and literary journals. For some years he has taught narrative writing at the University of Technology, Sydney.
In 2006 he obtained a PhD in creative writing. In 2010 he was the Visiting Distinguished Writer at University of Hawai’i, Manoa. His poetry and prose have been widely anthologized. His words are also immortalized in bronze on the Avenue of Nations sculpture at Centennial Park, Sydney. His most recent books of poetry are Eighth Habitation, which was shortlisted for the Adelaide Festival Award, and Tonto’s Revenge, (Tinfish Press, Hawai’i). In 2012 he was resident at the Australia Council’s Keesing Studio, Paris, and in Southern France, where he spent six months learning French and completing new work.