CANBERRA poet P.S. Cottier was a finalist in the 2015 Australian Catholic University Prize for Poetry, it was announced last night at ACU’s Melbourne campus as part of the Melbourne Writer’s Festival.
The first prizewinner was Tasmanian poet Kirsten Lang, for her poem “Glass”. Lang’s poem was chosen from around 200 entries nationally on the theme Peace, Tolerance, and Understanding.
She won $7000 for her poem, with $2000 going to Josephine Wilson and $1000 to Cottier.
Poet, author and academic Kevin Hart judged the entries, shortlisted by ACU Literature lecturer Dr Carolyn Masel and Academic Board chair Professor Margot Hillel, who presented the winners with their awards, made possible through the sponsorship of ACU’s Directorate of Identity and Mission.
Cottier’s poem “Route 9”, Professor Hart said, “brings to clarity the very act of someone changing from pre-judgment to tolerance. Through one simple act the speaker redefines himself; in fact, the mere act of kindness forces him to revaluate his prejudices about others.”
According to the director of Identity and Mission, Father Anthony Casamento, each of the poets had demonstrated a particular sensitivity to the theme of peace, tolerance and understanding,
The ACU Prize for Poetry aims to support writers and to continue the tradition of the Catholic Church as a key patron of the arts.
“Interest in this year’s Poetry Prize has been delightful and suggests that the topic is relevant, and one which prompted significant engagement by poets from across Australia and beyond,” Fathrr Casamento said.