© 2020 Penguin SEA
Prof. Muhammad Haji Salleh is one of the Malaysian writers who has been awarded the National Literary Award in 1991. He also won the SEA Writers Award in 1997. In 2008, he was named National Scholar of Excellence.
He was the President of the Malaysian Translators Association (1978-1982) and meanwhile many of his poems have been translated into English, German, Chinese, Dutch, Thai, Russian and Portuguese. He also serves on the editorial board of the Southeast Asian Literary Journal, Tenggara, a member of the Board of Directors of the Language and Library Council, and a member of the National Literary Awards Panel.
His career began as a teacher at the Butterworth Trade School in 1960 and then continued his teaching career in several schools as a tutor, lecturer, senior lecturer and subsequently held several academic positions at local and international universities. He also made history as the youngest professor who was appointed to the post in 1979 at the age of 37.
Upon returning to Malaysia, he served at the National University of Malaysia and the University of Science Malaysia. For 42 years, he has worked at USM, UKM and UM . He has been invited to teach in the United States, Brunei, Germany and the Netherlands as a visiting professor and has received fellowships from several universities in the United States, Japan and the Netherlands.
He was previously a Guest Professor under the Fulbright-Hays program (1977) and taught at North Carolina State University, Raleigh , USA (1977-1978); lecturer in the Department of Malay Literature; Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, UKM; Director of the Institute of Language, Culture Malay Literature. Then became Professor of Literature at the age of 36 (1978). Muhammad is an ‘Asian Scholar in Residence’ at the University of Michigan. In 1992-1993, he was elected Fullbright Visiting Reseacher, at the University of California, Berkeley; bears the Chair of Malay Studies at the University of Leiden, Netherlands (1993-1994).
In June 1996, he participated in the National Association (Moscow) seminar on ‘National Construction and the Literature / Cultural Development in Southeast Asia’, in which he presented the paper ‘Audience on the Staircase’. The effects of a visit to Moscow, including the performance of ‘The Queen of Spades’ directed by Peter Fomenko, in the theater of E. Vakhtangov, are reflected in some of his poems.