Philip Hammial was born in 1936 in the U.S.A., and grew up in and around Detroit, Michigan. After three years in the engine rooms of U.S. Navy ships he went to Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan, and then to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he ‘discovered’ poetry, art, philosophy and history. Graduating with honours in English Literature and Philosophy in 1963, he subsequently travelled the world for nearly ten years, visiting seventy-three countries.
In 1972 he arrived in Sydney on a tourist visa and nine months later was granted residency. He is now an Australian citizen, married with one child, a daughter born in 1997, and has been living in the Blue Mountains since 1994. Since publishing his first collection Footfalls and Notes in 1976, he has published some twenty collections of poetry. Hammial is also an artist. He has had thirty-one solo exhibitions and his work has been included in sixty-six group exhibitions. With Ulli Beier and Rudy Krausmann, he edited Outsider Art in Australia (1989), and as the director of The Australian Collection of Outsider Art, he has curated or helped to organize twenty-two exhibitions of Australian Outsider Art: in Australia, Germany, France, Belgium and the U.S.
In 1979 Hammial became the editor of Island Press, where he has continued to play a role in poetry publishing. He has represented Australia at four overseas poetry festivals: Poetry Africa 2000 in Durban, South Africa; The Franco-Anglais Festival of Poetry, Paris, 2000; The World Festival of Poets, Tokyo, 2000 and the Festival International de la Poesie, Trois Rivieres, Quebec, 2004. His poetry has been widely published in Australian literary journals and poetry magazines.Poetry Collections
- Footfalls and Notes (Cammeray, NSW: Saturday Centre, 1976).
- Mastication Poems (Cammeray, NSW: Saturday Centre, 1977).
- Hear Me Eating (St Lucia, Qld: Makar Press, 1977).
- Chemical Cart (Sydney: Island Press, 1977).
- More Bath, Less Water (North Sydney, NSW: Red Press, 1978).
- Swarm (Sydney: Island Press, 1979).
- Squeeze (Sydney: Island Press, 1985).
- [with Anthony Mannix] Vehicles of Refuge, Abundance, Repentance, Jubilation, Beatitude, Transfiguration, Supplication, etc. (Sydney: Island Press, 1985).
- Pell Mell (Wentworth Falls, NSW: Black Lightning Press, 1988).
- [with Ania Walwicz], Travel/Writing (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1989).
- With One Skin Less (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1994).
- Just Desserts (Woodford, NSW: Island Press, 1995).
- Black Market in Judith Rodriguez, ed., The Wild Life (Ringwood, Vic: Penguin, 1996), pp. 113–204.
- Bread (Fitzroy North, Vic: Black Pepper, 2000).
- Auto One (Newtown, NSW: Vagabond Press, 2003).
- In the Year of Our Slaughtered Children (Woodford, NSW: Island Press, 2003).
- Voodoo Realities (Woodford, NSW: Island Press, 2005).
- Sugar Hits (Woodford, NSW: Island Press, 2006).
- Juggernaut Woodford, NSW: Island Press, 2007).
- Wig Hat On (Woodford, NSW: Island Press, 2008).
- Adam Aitken, ‘Adam Aitken reviews Philip Hammial,’ Cordite no.18 (2004), online, http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/14234/20040528-0000/www.cordite.org.au/archives/000487.html
- Pamela Brown, ‘Philip Hammial’s Voodoo Realities,’ Famous Reporter no.31 (2005), pp. 112–14.
- Martin Duwell, [untitled review], Jacket no.33 (2007), online, http://jacketmagazine.com/33/duwell-hammial.shtml
- Philip Hammial, ‘The Practice of Poetry,’ Cordite: Poetry and Poetics Review no.3 (1998), online, http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/14234/20010621-0000/cordite.org.au/back-issues/cordite_03.pd
- Phillip Hammial, Philip Hammial [website], online, www.ieeff.org/phammialindex.html