Merlinda Bobis has won more than a dozen literary awards, prizes and fellowships for her poetry, fiction and plays in the Philippines, Australia and the United States. These awards include the international Prix Italia, the Australian Writers’ Guild Award, the Ian Reed Radio Drama Prize, the Steele Rudd Award for the Best Published Collection of Australian Short Stories, the Judges’ Choice Award at the Bumbershoot Bookfair (Seattle Arts Festival), the Carlos Palanca Literary Award, the Gawad CCP Award, the Philippine National Book Award, the Pamana Presidential Award, etc.
She has published five poetry books: Pag-uli, Pag-uwi, Homecoming (a trilingual collection in Bicol, Pilipino and English), Summer Was A Fast Train Without Terminals, Cantata of the Warrior Woman Daragang Magayon, Ang Lipad Ay Awit Sa Apat Na Hangin and Rituals. She has also published A Novel-in-Waiting(a monograph on writing fiction), White Turtle or The Kissing (a collection of short stories) and Banana Heart Summer (a novel) which was shortlisted for the 2006 Australian Literary Society Gold Medal, the oldest Australian literary award. This novel will be published by Bantam Books USA in 2008. Bantam is also publishing her yet unwritten novel The Solemn Lantern Maker in 2009.
Merlinda’s plays have been performed in Australia, Philippines, France, China, Thailand and the Slovak Republic. She has had four productions of her plays and poetry by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio. She is currently working on drafts of two other novels, a film script and a radio ficto-documentary. She teaches creative writing at the University of Wollongong in Australia. She still calls Bicol home.