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Five Islands Prize: For a first book of poetry

We are excited to announce a new annual prize for emerging poets.

This Prize for a first book of poetry includes a cash prize for the publisher as well as the chosen poet.

As many readers and poets know, Five Islands Press was a prominent independent Australian poetry publishing house for thirty-four years, from 1986 until 2007 under the direction of Ron Pretty, then until 2020 under a changing team of editors who kept the press going strongly. This new prize aims to support emerging poets, and at the same time honour the publishers who have shown confidence in these new poets.

Emeritus Professor Kevin Brophy AM
Administrator for the Five Islands Prize

Prizes

  • The winning poet will receive $2500.
  • The publisher will receive $1000.
  • These prizes will be offered annually, following a financial-year calendar.
  • The first prize will be offered for books published between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022.

Key dates

  • Eligibility for 2021-2022 Prize: Books published between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022
  • Entries close: 15 July 2022
  • Winner announced: 30 November 2022

Contact

Email: kevinjb@unimelb.edu.au
Postal address:
Five Islands Prize
PO Box 68
Brunswick Victoria 3056

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we work, the Kulin Nation and Ngunnawal people, and express our respect for their elders, past, present and future.

The Five Islands Press Prize aims to support and celebrate emerging poets, and honour publishers of new poetry.

This is an annual prize for a first already-published book-length collection of poetry by a poet living and writing in Australia.

The author of the prize-winning book will receive $2500 and the publisher will receive $1000.

The prize will be first offered in 2021-2022.

Advisory Board

Professor Dan Disney

Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea

Dr Jennifer Harrison

Dax Poetry Collection Manager and Psychiatry Fellow, University of Melbourne

Dr Nadia Niaz

Founder and Editor Australian Multilingual Writing Project and Creative Writing Program, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne

Professor Paul Hetherington

Professor of Writing in the Faculty of Art and Design, University of Canberra, and Head of International Poetry Studies Institute

Administration

Emeritus Professor Kevin Brophy AM
Katie Hayne, University of Canberra
Libby Austen, Technology, design and admin assistant

Partners

University of Canberra  
Website host and administration support

Australian Poetry
Communications Partner

Angela Costi

Angela is the author of five poetry collections: Dinted HalosPrayers for the WickedHoney & Salt (shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Poetry Prize 2008), Lost in Mid-Verse and An Embroidery of Old Maps and New. In 1995, she received a travel award from the Australia National Languages and Literacy Board to study Ancient Greek Drama in Greece. The Relocated arts project, for which she was writer-in-residence at the former Kensington Public Housing Estate, received the national award for community innovation, 2002. In 2009, she travelled to Japan with support from the Australia Council for the Arts as part of an international collaboration to perform her poetic text A Nest of Cinnamon. In 2021, City of Melbourne funding is supporting her to work on a new suite of poetry titled The Heart of the Advocate. She is also known as Aggeliki Kosti among the Cypriot-Greek diaspora (her heritage).

Nicholas Powell

Nicholas is an Australian poet and the author of Water Mirrors (UQP), winner of the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize, and shortlisted for the Wesley Michel Wright Poetry Prize. A new collection, Trap Landscape, is forthcoming. He was a recipient of a Young Australian Poets Fellowship, and his poems have been published in Southerly, Overland, Cordite, The Weekend Australian Review, Rabbit, The Age, as well as in the anthology, Ashbery Mode (2019). He has appeared on panels and in performances at various festivals and has had work commissioned by arts organizations. He is currently based in Finland.

Alison Whittaker

Alison is a Gomeroi poet, essayist, and law academic.

Step 1

Post four (4) copies of the submitted poetry book to:

Five Islands Prize
PO Box 68
Brunswick Victoria 3056

Posted books should be received on or before 15 July 2022.

Step 2

Email Kevin Brophy at: kevinjb@unimelb.edu.au (Subject: FIVE ISLANDS PRIZE ENTRY) attesting that this is the poet’s first published book of poetry, and provide contact details for the poet and the publisher.

Terms & Conditions

  • This is an annual prize for a first published collection of poetry by a poet living and writing in Australia.
  • The author of the prize-winning book will receive $2500 and the publisher will receive $1000.
  • A book can be entered by the author or publisher.
  • The book must contain at least thirty pages of poetry, have an ISBN, and be available through retail sales outlets.
  • Self-published books are eligible as long as they meet the above criteria.
  • For the 2021-2022 Prize, books published between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022 are eligible.
  • Note: the prize aims to support professional publishers, in particular small-press, independent publishers.
  • Submissions will open all year until 15 July 2022.
  • There will be three judges, whose decision will be final.
  • The Prize will be announced in late November, 2022, and presented shortly afterwards.
  • Four copies of the submitted book are to be posted to PO Box 68 Brunswick Victoria 3056.
  • Books submitted will not be returned.
  • An email must be sent to Kevin Brophy at: kevinjb@unimelb.edu.au attesting that this is the poet’s first published book of poetry, and providing the book's publishing date, and contact details for the poet and the publisher.