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University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize

The University of Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal peoples as the traditional custodians of the land upon which the University's main campus sits, and pays respect to all Elders past, present and emerging.

2017 winners

First Prize: Jeanine Leane, ‘Still Gatherers’
Second Prize: Brenda Saunders, ‘Bush Tobacco’
Third Prize: Hugo Comisari, ‘Kookaburras, Carp and Concrete’

2017 shortlist

Hugo Comisari, ‘Kookaburras, Carp and Concrete’
Jeanine Leane, ‘Exhibition’
Jeanine Leane, ‘Still Gatherers’
Brenda Saunders, ‘Bush Tobacco’
Brenda Saunders, ‘Desert Wattle’
Brenda Saunders, ‘Dharawala Country’

The prize announcement will be made on Thursday 21 September, at 5pm within the concluding event of the Poetry on the Move festival. The prizes will awarded by special guest, Steven Oliver.

About the Prize

2017 Theme: 'Preservation and revitalisation of culture'

The University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize aims to inspire others through poetry to consider authentic ways of presenting, preserving and revitalising the traditional culture and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The poem may be focused on the verbal expression of culture, and can investigate where there is loss of language and culture the wide ranging impacts on culture, identity and health. This may include the intrinsic value of Indigenous perspectives, language transmission from one generation to the next, or describe the experience of, what is possible when preservation and revitalisation of culture is guided by institutions aimed at achieving a common purpose.

The University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize is offered for the first time in 2017. It is sponsored by the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy and supported by the Faculty of Arts and Design.

The Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy places a particular emphasis on working collaboratively with UC faculties and research institutes to: open more doors to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; create more opportunities to increase student completion rates; achieve parity in employment; aspire to cultural competency; and build capacity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research.

Enquires should be emailed to oatsils@canberra.edu.au.

Important details:

  • The winner will receive AUD$1,500
  • The runner-up (second-placed poem) will receive AUD$700
  • The second runner-up (third-placed poem) will receive AUD$300
  • Winners will receive an invitation to attend an award ceremony and aim to be published in Meniscus (http://meniscus.org.au), the literary journal of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs.
  • All poems entered for the prize will be single poems that have a maximum length of 40 lines 
  • The competition is open only to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (see the Conditions of Entry for further details)
  • Each entry of a poem will cost AUD$5
  • Entries close at 23:59 EST on Monday 31 July 2017

Judge

Phillip Hall

Phillip HallPhillip Hall worked for many years as a teacher of outdoor education and sport throughout regional New South Wales, Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. He now resides in Melbourne’s Sunshine, where he works  as a writer, dividing his time between poetry, reviews and essays. He also works as an editor with Verity La’s ‘Emerging Indigenous Writers Project’ and as a poetry reader at Overland. In 2014 he published Sweetened in Coals. In 2015 he published Diwurruwurru, a book of his collaborations with the Borroloola Poetry Club. He is currently working on a collection of place-based poetry called Fume. This project celebrates Indigenous culture in the Northern Territory’s Gulf of Carpentaria.

For More Information

Please feel free to send any questions in regards to the awards to oatsils@canberra.edu.au.