Arts / Lavers wins UC poetry prize for a second time

Paul Munden reads Lavers’ winning poem

FOR the second time in its short history, the $15,000 vice-chancellor’s International Poetry Prize has gone to American poet poet Michael Lavers.

At an event last night (September 13) vice-chancellor Prof Deep Saini told those present that the prize had been offered annually since 2014.

He said it’s administered on behalf of the University by the International Poetry Studies Institute, which in turn is part of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research in the Faculty of Arts and Design.

The prize, he said, celebrated the enduring significance of poetry to cultures everywhere in the world and the University of Canberra’s commitment to creativity and imagination in all that it did.


Lavers, who also won in 2016, was chosen for his poem, “The angel in charge of creating the Earth addresses his cohort”, which, in his absence, was read out loud to those attending the announcements last night by poet Paul Munden.

The second prize of $5000 went to Australian poet, Sarah Holland-Batt for her poem “The grip”, read in her absence by Prof Jen Webb. Holland-Batt is well known as the editor of “The Best Australian Poems” in 2016.

Shortlisted poets were Erin Shiel, (for “The bolt hole”) Katie Hale, (for “Song”) BR Dionysius (for “Koko mourns her Manx cat All Ball”) and Katie Brunero (for “The only kid who invites everyone”).

An anthology of longlisted titled “Signs”, designed by “CityNews” art reviewer Caren Florance, was also unveiled and is available at the university.

Following the announcements and as part of the “Poetry on the Move” festival, a series of chapbooks by visiting international poets were launched.

“Poetry on the Move: Inhabiting Language”, continues until September 17. All events are free, but bookings essential to

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