So if you’re also a poet…

May 3, 2016

No poem today, but I thought I’d share information about some great poetry prizes.

Firstly, the Australian Catholic University has a competition on the theme ‘Loving Kindness’. When I first heard the theme, I was less than rapt, but the more I thought about it, the more a poem wriggled out from between the words, until it demanded to be penned in the seedy corral of a poem.  This contest is open to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and overseas students studying in Australia.  Here is the link. Closes early June. There is a nice, really well catered, ceremony held in Melbourne at which the (generous) prizes for this are awarded.  I was placed third last year and read my poem there.  A book of entries was produced too.  Entry is $20.  And, no, you don’t have to be Catholic, or of any other religion (although you can be!).

Secondly (and this one is open to all poets writing in English) there is the University of Canberra Vice Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize.  There is no theme for this one. Again, there are great prizes, including a tidy $15,000 for the first place getter. However, some may quite reasonably baulk at the entry fees for these prestigious competitions ($20).  There is a discounted rate for university students, and there is also a separate free competition for students in Year 11 and 12 at an ACT or NSW school.  There are also cash prizes for this one, and ‘winners will be invited to attend the IPSI Poetry on the Move festival where they will be invited to read their poem and a chance to meet some excellent poets.’  And possibly some mediocore ones!  That is not compulsory though.

There is yet another competition being offered through the University of Canberra too.  This is the Health Poetry Prize, which is only open to Australians, and the poems must be on the theme of ‘Living Life Well’, which also sounded vaguely off-putting to me at first glance, until I noticed that the poem could also deal with barriers to ‘Living Life Well’.  So there is no need to use that foul word ’empowerment’…This one is $10 to enter, and seems like a great initiative.

Of course, everyone who has ever written a poem in English, and their more literate pets, will enter the international Uni of Canberra one, which makes it the most competitive.  (Given that ‘everyone’ has a credit card with at least $20 left on it.) These things are a bit of a lottery (however well qualified the judges are), but if you get a decent poem out of the process, it may be worth it.

My own view of poetry competitions is that if the topic catches my eye, I’ll have a go, but I won’t force a poem out because there is a competition.  I have written about the whole economy of competitions elsewhere.  (At Overland.)

Have fun!



2 Responses to “So if you’re also a poet…”

  1. $20 is a lot considering the level of competition one’s likely to encounter. I like your approach though re entering if the muse strikes / catches your eye

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