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Wesley Michel Wright Prize in Poetry
Subcategory of Australian Centre Literary Awards
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The Wesley Michel Wright Prize in Poetry is open to authors or composers of original verse or poetry in the English language. Entrants must be Australian citizens. Poems can be no less than 50 lines up to a maximum of 500 lines. To be eligible, poems must have been published within the last 12 months from the closing date in either book or journal form (print or electronic).

The Prize is sponsored by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne.

Source: Sighted: 3/12/2013.


2020 winner y separately published work icon After the Demolition Zenobia Frost , Melbourne : Cordite Press , 2019 16947976 2019 selected work poetry

'This book has multiple fire exits. This book has too many keys. You can climb through a window into this book. Some of these poems are not on the lease, and you are willing to take it all the way to the Residential Tenancies Authority.

In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard says ‘a house constitutes a body of images that give mankind proofs or illusions of stability’. These poems ask what proofs of stability we build when our homes and selves are in perpetual flux.

After the Demolition is about rebuilding as much as it is about taking apart. It is about moving, and about moving on – what we leave behind, and what we attach more firmly to ourselves. When a place is gone – because we’ve given the keys back, or because the locks are lopped off – our attachment can drive us towards saudade, nostalgia, replication. We mythologise the flaws of our past haunts and past lives, and this determines the ways we start over when everything is air rights.'

Source: Author's blurb.

2019 winner y separately published work icon Look at the Lake Kevin Brophy , Glebe : Puncher and Wattmann , 2018 14451231 2018 selected work poetry

'These poems were written across 2016 when Kevin Brophy was living in the remote community of Mulan, home to the Walmajarri speaking custodians of the Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) around Lake Paruku (Lake Gregory in many maps) in Western Australia.' (Summary)

2018 winner y separately published work icon On the Outskirts John Kinsella , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2017 11496393 2017 selected work poetry

Inspired by the natural worlds surrounding Tübingen in Germany, Cambridge in England, the village of Schull in southwest Ireland and the West Australian wheatbelt, Kinsella explores through his poems the protection and valuing of human and animal life, and the environment itself. Reflecting on how the local and international are in constant flux and exchange, these poems consider the plight of refugees, the degradation of the natural world, militarisation and the tensions of global violence. As Kinsella contemplates the failure of public memory to memorialise and adequately face the horrors of the past, he reflects on the unresolved issues of history such as Nazism (Germany) and colonisation (Ireland and Australia).

Influenced by William Blake's poetry and art, in particular Dante’s Divine Comedy, Kinsella evokes in his poems a strong relationship between the visual and textual. On the Outskirts is a work of strangeness and alienation, but also a work in which a light of redemption is sought — a rehabilitation in the human character and the healing power of 'nature'.' (Publication abstract)

2017 winner y separately published work icon Flute of Milk Susan Fealy , Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2017 10716651 2017 selected work poetry

'The collection is in two parts, with each one interrogating love, loss, gender and aesthetics. The poems refract these themes through personal experience, as well as through a broader cultural lens. Some of these works are direct responses to the act of reading literature. The hallmark of this collection is precision with language: these works are always present and vivid.' (Publication summary)

2014 winner y separately published work icon Tempo Sarah Day , Glebe : Puncher and Wattmann , 2013 6700413 2013 selected work poetry

T'ime and motion are undercurrents in these new poems by Sarah Day. Her subjects encompass the commonplace in the Australian landscape: the remnant beak of a raven, tree shadows in urban streets, industrial cranes and mowing-machines, as well as the exotic or peculiar: the world seed bank in Norway, artefacts in Pompeii, Graeco-Egyptian funeral portraits, the landscape paintings of John Glover, the Earth as seen from elsewhere in the Milky Way. These poems, individually and collectively, invite questions about the enigmatic nature of past, present and future.' (Publisher's blurb)

2013 winner y separately published work icon Stone Scar Air Water Judy Johnson , North Hobart : Walleah Press , 2013 6566980 2013 selected work poetry For the collection of poems 'Irish Stone', part of this collection.
2012 winner y separately published work icon The Wind-Up Birdman of Moorabool Street A. Frances Johnson , Glebe : Puncher and Wattmann , 2012 Z1881203 2012 selected work poetry

In this stunning, visionary collection, A. Frances Johnson offers cautionary threnodies that muse on environment and the endurance of theme park notions of the natural, in spheres poetic and beyond. This is a richly varied collection: among moving lyrics of loss are dystopian visions, such as the last living bird with its wings and vocal chords sludged by the oily depredations of Exxon Valdez, hummingbird drones indiscriminately raiding and killing, and hybrid bird-humans blurring the boundaries between nature and culture to survive.

2011 winner y separately published work icon An Absence of Saints Rosanna Licari , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2010 Z1713221 2010 selected work poetry
2009 winner y separately published work icon The Darwin Poems Emily Ballou , Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2009 Z1588477 2009 selected work poetry To lose your mother at the age of eight. To spend five years at sea, circumnavigating the globe, unsure whether you will ever return home. To watch your favourite daughter die and almost never speak her name again. To survive years of incurable illness and crippling stomach pains. To live with the fear that the knowledge inside you could wreck your marriage and destroy all that your society holds dear. To have twenty years of work nearly eclipsed by a younger man. To create a new kind of faith that will change the world. Emily Ballou's beautifully imagined verse-portrait of Charles Darwin's life saves the man from the legend, bringing to light a fragile and deeply-felt humanity, capturing the textures of his work and dreams, the noise and touch of his wife and children, his inner doubts and questions. It is the story of a man at the brink of a revolutionary theory; a man whose dogged, lifelong determination to pursue the truth, despite the cost to his health, never undermined his intense feelings of devotion to those he loved. (Publisher's Blurb)
2008 winner y separately published work icon Esperance : New and Selected Poems Caroline Caddy , North Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 2007 Z1425751 2007 selected work poetry
2006 winner y separately published work icon Four Quarters : A Collection of Poems Tom Petsinis , North Melbourne : Thompson Walker , 2006 Z1260730 2006 selected work poetry 'Tom Petsinis uses footy to write about life, and life to write about footy. His poems ring true. Like Jim Pavlidis' powerfully melancholic artwork, they capture the triumph of everyday hope in the face of everyday loss; that those who seek community - family, street, suburb, footy club - can never be defeated.' John Harms. (Back cover)
2004 winner y separately published work icon The Ship Sarah Day , Blackheath : Brandl and Schlesinger , 2004 Z1113986 2004 selected work poetry
2003 winner y separately published work icon Cut Lunch Chris Andrews , Charnwood : Indigo , 2002 Z973114 2002 selected work poetry
2002 winner y separately published work icon Summer Martin Harrison , St Leonards : Paper Bark Press , 2001 Z935610 2001 selected work poetry
2001 winner y separately published work icon Flight Animals Bronwyn Lea , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2001 Z902652 2001 selected work poetry
2000 winner y separately published work icon Nomadic Splinters Judy Johnson , Fitzroy North : Black Pepper , 2004 Z1109612 2004 selected work poetry Awarded to an earlier version of the work entitled Splinters.
1999 winner y separately published work icon The Pomelo Tree Margaret Bradstock , Charnwood : Ginninderra Press , 1999 Z929281 1999 selected work poetry
1998 winner y separately published work icon The Satin Bowerbird Jean Kent , Sydney : Hale and Iremonger , 1998 Z35247 1998 selected work poetry
1997 winner Judith Beveridge
1996 winner Thomas Shapcott
1995 winner Bruce Beaver
1994 winner y separately published work icon The Barge Dimitris Tsaloumas , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1993 Z272686 1993 selected work poetry

'Third English language collection of poems by a Greek-Australian writer. Contains new as well as previously published work. The other two collections are 'Falcon Drinking' and 'Portrait of a Dog'.' (Publication summary)

1993 winner y separately published work icon The Floor of Heaven John Tranter , Pymble : Angus and Robertson , 1992 Z394558 1992 selected work poetry
1992 winner y separately published work icon Coming Home from the World Peter Boyle , Wollongong : Five Islands Press Scarp Productions , 1994 Z189465 1994 selected work poetry
1992 winner Peter Boyle
1991 joint winner Jan Owen
1991 joint winner Jordie Albiston
1990 winner The Westbury Street Poems Ken Bolton , 1990 selected work poetry for the manuscript of The Westbury Street Poems.
1989 joint winner John Tranter
1989 joint winner Satires David Herkt , Fitzroy : Event-Horizon , 1988 Z8224 1988 selected work poetry
— Appears in: The Body of Man 1994;
1988 joint winner y separately published work icon The Epigrams of Martial Laurie Duggan , Parkville : Scripsi , 1989 Z98933 1989 selected work poetry Awarded for the manuscript version of The Epigrams of Martial.
1987 winner Diane Fahey
1986 winner Philip Hodgins
1985 joint winner Frank Kellaway
1985 joint winner Preface (for Helen Williams of Ainslie `If She Wants It') i "Only what prepares it. Novel. Arcana. By five I had", John Scott , 1986 single work poetry
— Appears in: St Clair : Three Narratives 1986; (p. 1-58) Selected Poems 1995; (p. 145-204)
1983 winner Fugue Alex Skovron , 1985 sequence poetry
— Appears in: Scripsi , April vol. 3 no. 1 1985; (p. 60-65) The Rearrangement 1988; (p. 58-63)
1982 winner Leon Slade