We received more than 400 entries for the 2012 Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets. Overland poetry editor Peter Minter judged the competition blind, and was happy to discover many new voices among the submitted works.
Overland is pleased to announce the winning and commended poems for the 2012 Prize:
‘Augury?’ depicts a walk on the island of Samothrace (Samothraki) in Greece and the fortuitous intersection of the flight of birds and the speaker’s wanderings, while concurrently exploring relations between the ancient and modern, humanity and the natural world, society and the prospects of poetry.
Luke Fischer’s poems have appeared in Antipodes, Cordite, ISLE, Mascara, Meanjin, Snorkel, and Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology. He has held academic positions in the US and Germany, and in 2008 received a PhD in philosophy from the University of Sydney. He is currently completing his first collection of poems.
Second Prize: ‘The Owl of Lascaux’
I wrote ‘The owl of Lascaux’ after attending a seminar on the Italian philosopher, Giorgio Agamben, during which one of the speakers remarked on the drawing in the famous French cave as constituting the first known representation of a figure facing front-on. This naturally led to a memory of swimming in the idyllic turquoise waters off the island of Phi Phi whilst being relentlessly bitten by sea lice.
Fiona Hile’s poems have been published in The Age, Overland, Shearsman, Cordite, Rabbit, Steamer and elsewhere. Her long poem, ‘Bush Poem with Subtitles’, was awarded equal first place in the 2012 Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize. She is completing a PhD at the University of Melbourne, where she also tutors in Literary Studies and Creative Writing. Her first full-length collection of poetry will be published by Hunter later this year.
Third prize: ‘The Watchmaker’s Wrath’
‘The watchmaker’s wrath’ was formed around a collection of memories from my youth, woven into a somewhat disjointed narrative about intricate and very private dynamic of a family coming to grips with loss. Semi-autobiographical and dedicated to my brother.
Myles Gough is a journalist who lives in Sydney, and an aspiring creative writer – if only there were more hours in the day.
Commended: ‘the ether comes’
Dusk Dundler studied under poet Martin Harrison at UTS in 2010. He has produced documentaries for the ABC’s Radio National, reported for the Koori Mail, and published in Independent Filmmaker Magazine. He fulfilled a mentorship with Top End writer Andrew McMillan and is soon to be published in The Prague Revue.
Commended: ‘the report’
‘the report’ grew out of a series of reflections upon the lyric ‘I’ following the attacks upon it by certain avant-garde movements, as it struck me that its critics tended to overlook some of its most important aspects.
Marty Hiatt is a Melbourne poet. His work has appeared in Steamer, Rabbit, Overland, foam:e, Cordite, otoliths, fourW, and Upstairs at Duroc. In 2012 he published a chapbook, Rook’s Lair on a Lever.
Commended: ‘A Stitch Up’
‘A Stitch Up’ was written during a brief stay in Melbourne, during a slightly longer stay in Australia, and is diffused between multiple locations, images and impulses; attempting to make and break these connections simultaneously.
Joel Scott is a Sydney-born poet now living in Berlin, completing a PhD which posits translation as a kind of radical contemporary writing practice. His poetry and critical work has been published in print and online, here and there.
Commended: ‘Back fence lost’
Gareth Thomas is originally from Cronulla, but now lives between the Central Ranges and Northern NSW with his partner and young children. He identifies as both poet and visual artist enjoying the hybrid forms that emerge in his practice. Gareth holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Writing and Visual Art from Southern Cross University.
Commended: ‘Monarch of the Good’
‘Monarch of the Good’ visits heresy, intoxication and godliness to mock the essential and enjoy itself.
Commended: ‘The Tar Fires’
Corey Wakeling lives in Melbourne. He regularly publishes poetry in Australia and abroad, and his first full-length collection Goad Omen will be published by Giramondo in March 2013. He is reviews editor of Rabbit and interviews editor of Cordite. Corey tutors in Literature and Theatre Studies at the University of Melbourne.
(Note: Corey Wakeling has two poems in this year’s shortlist.)