Final Results of the 2022 Judith Wright Poetry Prize

Established in 2007 and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize seeks outstanding poetry from new and emerging writers.

This year’s judges, Pam Brown, Toby Fitch and Lachlan Brown, selected a shortlist of eight poems from over 700 entries. They then chose three outstanding poems to place first, second and third in this year’s prize. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the judges for their hard work and commitment to the integrity of the blind-judging process.

This year, first place receives $6000 in prize money, second place receives $2000 and third place receives $1000. Overland will publish all three poems in our Summer 2023 edition.

Overland, the judges and the Malcolm Robertson Foundation are thrilled to announce the final results of the 2022 Judith Wright Poetry Prize. Congratulations to the following poets.

First place

Abbra Kotlarczyk

‘VIRIDITAS / little big scrub poem’

This poem, an elegy and polemic in double line sets of irregular stanzas, draws parallels between the treatment of queer and ecological entities, and is set against the backdrop of the Big Scrub region of Northern NSW, an area shaped by natural abundance and decimation that the poet/speaker returns home to.

Abbra Kotlarczyk was raised on Bundjalung Country in the subtropical ruins of a decommissioned banana plantation. She makes art, curates, reads, writes, edits, parents and gardens. Her poetry has appeared in Australian Poetry’s Best of Australian Poems 2021, Cordite Poetry Review, un Magazine, Lieu Journal, Island, Minarets and elsewhere.

Image credit: Kenneth Suico 2022

Second place

Yeena Kirkbright

‘Camperdown Grief Junk’

There is something peaceful and humbling in the knowledge that it only takes 150 years for your grave to become a toilet for dogs.

Yeena Kirkbright is a Wiradjuri poet who grew up in Central West New South Wales. She is now blessed to live and work on Dharug and Gadigal lands in Sydney. She has been a recipient of Sweatshop’s All About Women of Colour emerging writers mentorship program for women and non-binary First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse writers, and a runner-up in the Kuracca Prize for Australian Literature. Her poetry has appeared in several literary journals.

Third place

Chris Brown

‘New terms for timeless behaviours’

Notes in and around work.

Chris Brown lives in Bega where he works as an English teacher. His collection, hotel universo, was published in 2020 with Puncher & Wattmann and shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Award. He edits the annual Slow Loris poetry series.

The Judith Wright Poetry Prize is supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation

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