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Judith Wright Calanthe Award
or State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award; or Poetry Collection Judith Wright Calanthe Award
Subcategory of Queensland Literary Awards
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The award title was changed to State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award.


2020 winner y separately published work icon Heide TT. O , Newcastle : Giramondo Publishing , 2019 17275159 2019 selected work poetry

'Heide is an epic poem about history, painting, painters, patrons and the people who made art happen in Australia — from Louis Buvelot to Edith Rowan, Tom Roberts and Robert Streeton to Vassilief, Nolan, Tucker, Joy Hester, the Boyds, Mirka Mora, and Albert Namatjira, with a particular focus on the artists gathered around Sunday and John Reed at Heide in Melbourne.

'It is a poem that explores the influence of art and poetry on the psyche, and the influence of social class on both, from the upper echelons and industrialists of Melbourne, to the struggle of the working class through such artists as Alisa O’Connor, Noel Counihan and Yosl Bergner. It begins with the foundation of Melbourne, and in its epic scope traverses an encyclopaedic range of subjects, assembled from facts, quotations, proverbs, definitions, historical documents, newspaper accounts and the author’s own reminiscences. 

'Heide is about the poets and artists who put their lives on the line, the Australian preoccupation with landscape, the dominance of a masculinist aesthetic, the sidelining and denigration of Indigenous art, the struggle of women artists to assert their influence and presence, and the impact of migration on Australian culture. 

'It is a long poem made up of almost 300 poems, each bringing to life characters and incidents that are fleshed out in vivid detail and with a dramatic intensity unique in Australian poetry.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2019 winner y separately published work icon Blakwork Alison Whittaker , Broome : Magabala Books , 2018 14069202 2018 selected work poetry

'A stunning mix of memoir, reportage, fiction, satire, and critique composed by a powerful new voice in poetry. Alison Whittaker’s BLAKWORK is an original and unapologetic collection from which two things emerge; an incomprehensible loss, and the poet’s fearless examination of the present.

'Whittaker is unsparing in the interrogation of familiar ideas – identifying and dissolving them with idiosyncratic imagery, layering them to form new connections, and reinterpreting what we know.' (Publication summary)

2018 winner y separately published work icon I Love Poetry Michael Farrell , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2017 11570289 2017 selected work poetry

'In I Love Poetry, Michael Farrell continues his affirmation of poetry as a mode for thinking: about Australia, land, and settlement, about planetary life, and about poetry’s relation to other art forms and to other kinds of writing. His poems show an aptitude for both fiction and (auto)biography. Playful and subtle in tone, they get under the skin of your mind more than in its face. ‘AC/DC as First Emu Prime Minister’ and ‘Into a Bar’ remobilise familiar Australian icons, while ‘Cate Blanchett and the Difficult Poem’ creates a scenario with the actor and Waleed Aly where reading and composition become a single act. ‘Great Poet Snowdome’ is a pervy story of kitsch involving Sydney and the pope, a recurring figure in the book who re-emerges as Pope Pinocchio. There’s a Tame Impala acrostic, a Mad Max riff (‘Put Your Helmet On’), a One Direction revision (‘Drag Me Down’), and forays into poeticising lyrebirds, kangaroos, Robert Menzies and Elizabeth Bishop. There is Sid Vicious and there are lamingtons. There is everything that loves poetry: Weet-Bix, Iron Maiden t-shirts, motorbikes, and you.' (Publication summary)

2017 winner y separately published work icon Fragments Antigone Kefala , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2016 9635376 2016 selected work poetry

'Antigone Kefala is one of the elders of Australian poetry, highly regarded for the intensity of her vision, yet not widely known, on account of the small number of poems she has published, each carefully worked, each magical or menacing in its effects. Fragments is her first collection of new poems in almost twenty years, since the publication of New and Selected Poems in 1998, and possibly her last. It follows her prose work Sydney Journals (Giramondo, 2008) of which one critic wrote, 'Kefala can render the music of the moment so perfectly, she leaves one almost singing with the pleasure of it'. This skill in capturing the moment is just as evident in Fragments, though the territory is often darker now, as the poet patrols the liminal spaces between life and death, alert to the energies which lie in wait there. And such energies! "Up, in the blue depth / a bird cut with its wings / the light / such silk, that fell / and rose, heavily, / singing through the air.' (Publication summary)

2016 winner y separately published work icon Anatomy of Voice David Musgrave , Australia : GloriaSMH , 2016 10039243 2016 single work poetry

'In this book-length poem, (which starts in a manner reminiscent of Beckett’s Company), the isness of voice is its central preoccupation: it is considered from as many different aspects as there are parts to this multiform poem. Highly exploratory, with words sometimes rising from or inspired by selected Renaissance wood-cut engravings, Anatomy of Voice is divided into four Partitions – across which are lyricised the shiftings of the question ‘what is a voice’, and the poem’s speculative and evocative answers.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2015 winner y separately published work icon Waiting for the Past Les Murray , Collingwood : Black Inc. , 2015 8192786 2015 selected work poetry

'Les Murray's new volume of poems – his first in five years – continues his use of molten language. From 'The Black Beaches' to 'Radiant Pleats, Mulgoa', from 'High Speed Trap Space' to 'The Electric, 1960', this is verse that renews and transforms our sense of the world.

''No poet has ever travelled like this, whether in reality or simply in mind … Seeing the shape or hearing the sound of one thing in another, he finds forms'—Clive James, The Monthly'

' (Publication summary)

2014 winner y separately published work icon Earth Hour David Malouf , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2014 6858541 2014 selected work poetry

'In his first full volume of poetry since Typewriter Music in 2007, David Malouf once again shows us why he is one of Australia's most enduring and respected writers.' (Publisher's blurb)

2013 winner y separately published work icon Jam Tree Gully : Poems John Kinsella , New York (City) : W. W. Norton , 2012 Z1823469 2012 selected work poetry (taught in 1 units) 'In this daring new collection, Australia's preeminent environmental poet confronts the legacy of Thoreau's Walden. With Walden as his inspiration, John Kinsella moved with his family back to rural Australia, where he wrote the poems in this original collection exploring the nature of our responsibility and connection to the land.' (Publisher's blurb)
2012 winner y separately published work icon Crimson Crop Peter Rose , Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2012 Z1831695 2012 selected work poetry

'Crimson Crop has at its core a series of elegies, several about his late father Bob Rose, and contains new "Catullan" poems - imitations of Catullus that Rose has been writing and publishing since the 1980s.

Parts I and III comprise individual poems, not specifically themed. Part II - the core of the book - comprises a series of elegies and ruminations on death. There are references to the death of Peter's father, Bob Rose (a respected Australian Rules footballer and coach), thus continuing the themes of Peter's bestselling memoir Rose Boys (2001). Part IV comprises fifteen more themed poems in his ongoing series "The Catullan Rag" - a series of satires and love poems in the manner of the great Roman satirist, Catullus. Peter's poetry collection The Catullan Rag (1993) is notorious, in some circles because of its satirising of literary life in Australia.' Source: (Sighted 14/10/2016).