The winners of the inaugural University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize have been announced, judged from 1,050 entries from over 600 poets, the winners are:
- First prize ($15,000): David Adés for Dazzled
- Runner-up ($5000): Debi Hamilton for What big plans you have
- Shortlist: Lisa Brockwell for Blackout, Isi Unikowski for A Jokoban, Tim Robertson for Anima ex machina and Shevaun Cooley for Soundings
The competition, one of the most generous of its kind in the world with a $25,000 prize pool, invited writers to submit a previously unpublished poem, in English— translations were not eligible — and up to 50 lines in length.
The judging panel included leading Australian poets Jennifer Harrison, Brook Emery and Judith Beveridge, who selected a longlist of 58 poems, with UK-based TS Eliot prize-winning poet and head judge Philip Gross selecting the winner, runner-up and four shortlisted works.
Mr Gross said Mr Adès poem about poetry was “irresistible” and “a generous and subtle celebration of the way a poem can infiltrate itself, coming to fruition slowly, among the swarming details of a life observed with appetite.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker described the quality of entries as “outstanding” and thanked all the poets who submitted their work to the inaugural edition of this prize.
“This competition celebrates the enduring significance of poetry to all cultures, and highlights our commitment to excellence in creative writing in its various forms.
“While most entries were written by Australian-based poets, submissions were also received from each continent, and from across the region, including Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.”
Professor Parker said it was also pleasing to see a significant number of entries (18 per cent) from students.
The prize is administered by the University’s International Poetry Studies Institute.
An anthology of the 58 longlisted poems titled Dazzled including the winner, runner-up and four shortlisted poems will be available as a free eBook here: www.canberra.edu.au/vcpoetryprize
About the winners
- David Adès is an Australian poet currently living in Pittsburgh. His collection Mapping the World was commended for the Anne Elder Award 2008. His poems have been widely published and recently anthologised in Australian Love Poems, The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry and APoems 2013.
- Debi Hamilton is a Melbourne writer, poet and psychologist. She has won several awards and commendations for her writing, and a number of her short stories, non-fiction pieces and poems have been published in various journals. Her first collection of poetry was launched by the Melbourne Poets Union in July 2013.