Poetry prize celebrates 30 years of awarding home-grown talent
Winning the Newcastle Poetry Prize has helped launch the career of many talented writers including poet David Musgrave.
Winner of the 2009 Newcastle Poetry Prize for his poem The Baby Boomers, Dr Musgrave is now inspiring other writers as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Newcastle.
“The Newcastle Poetry Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes in Australia – it’s one of the biggest for a single poem and it’s taken seriously in literary circles,” Dr Musgrave said.
“Winning the prize was not only of financial benefit but it was a great affirmation and real encouragement to me as a writer because it attracts entries from well-known poets and is one of the toughest poetry awards to win.”
Now in its 30th year, the Newcastle Poetry Prize is the richest and one of the longest running poetry prizes in Australia. Sponsored by the University and Newcastle City Council, and coordinated by the Hunter Writer’s Centre (HWC), the competition attracts hundreds of entries from poets across the nation each year.
To help secure the future of the Newcastle Poetry Prize the University has boosted its sponsorship of the event to $20,000 a year.
“The Poetry Prize draws interest from established poets and those who are relatively unknown and is an excellent incubator of Australian and Hunter talent,” University of Newcastle Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Global Relations), Professor Kevin McConkey, said.
“The University is committed to the cultural development of the region. Our $20,000 contribution to the Newcastle Poetry Prize is an investment in a worthy event and the enormous creative talent we have in Australia.”
Winners share a prize pool of more than $18,500. Entries can be a single poem or suite of works.
To celebrate the Newcastle Poetry Prize’s milestone, the HWC and Puncher and Wattmann will publish a collection of winning poems from the last 30 years. The anthology is in addition to the annual publication of 20 poems from entries to the 2011 competition.
For more information visit www.newcastlepoetryprize.com
Entries close on Friday 10 June and the winners will be announced as part of a weekend of literary events in Newcastle, from Friday 30 September to Monday 3 October 2011, including the inaugural National Poetry Symposium and the National Young Writers Festival.
Mr Musgrave and Professor McConkey are available for interview. Contact University of Newcastle Media and Public Relations on 4921 6856.