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Monthly Archives

March 2018

close up of an elderly person's hand

Writing About Significant Loss

By | Grieve, News

Sometimes writing about the loss of a close family member can feel too hard because the enormity of all you have lost might stop you even starting. You may feel that in trying to describe it all you lose the sense of the person. What about writing about one aspect of the person? Start with a small physical characteristic or a small feature you loved about him or her – their smile, the way he sat to read, chat, write; the way she dressed or cooked or performed a regular chore. Below, Maree Reedman writes (in Grieve Volume 5) about hands as a recurring image which creates a clear and intimate portrait of her father. Enter your poem or story/essay into the Grieve writing competition.

My Father’s Hands
Maree Reedman

Long, tapered fingers,like candles.
Not a musician,though your sister
tried to teach you the piano.

A gardener
of fruit trees and roses
until you toppled over
the rosemary; the builder
of a mustard bookcase for my childhood
and my adolescent home;
a maker
of home brew
and pongy dog stew.

Your half-moons purpled
with blood as I held
your hand
while you snored,
mouth open
you always slept
easily.

My brother tried to close your lips
when you left,
off to go on that long-awaited
honeymoon with Mother,
the one you never took.
Man's hand in his lap

About the Newcastle Poetry Prize 2018

By | Newcastle Poetry Prize

About the Newcastle Poetry Prize

The Newcastle Poetry Prize is a significant cultural achievement and is a testament to the commitment of its sponsor – the University of Newcastle – to celebrate literary excellence in Australian poetry.

In September 1980, Peter Goldman stood in the middle of Civic Park, Newcastle, during the Mattara Festival and handed out an A4 photocopied anthology of poetry to passers-by. The collection featured poems from local Hunter writers, with contributors ranging in age from six to eightyone. This humble anthology paved the way for the first official Mattara Poetry Prize in 1981, which has gone on to become the most prestigious poetry competition in the country, and is now known as the Newcastle Poetry Prize. Today the Newcastle Poetry Prize is one of the major events on the literary calender in Australia, bringing entries from across the nation.

Each year, local and national poets compete with internationally recognised names and no less illustrious has been the list of judges casting their eye over the entries. The association with Newcastle is no accident. The Hunter Region has a long history of fostering poetry and an active community of local poets who punch above their weight nationally in awards, publication and events. In the words of the late Novocastrian poet, Bill Iden, “Newcastle’s environment makes its poets”. Co-ordinated by the Hunter Writers Centre (a not-for-profit organisation since 1995), the Newcastle Poetry Prize is one of Australia’s oldest and most important literary competitions in Australia. This is made possible through the generous provision of the prize money by the University of Newcastle and through funding from Create NSW.

Nathan Curnow and Sarah Day NPP judges 2018

2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize Judges

By | Newcastle Poetry Prize, News

We are thrilled to have poet Nathan Curnow as one of our judges of the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize judges. Nathan is based in Ballarat, Victoria, and is a past editor of Going Down Swinging. He was published in the 2011 Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology and his published books include The Ghost Poetry Project (2009), RADAR (2012), The Right Wrong Notes (2015) and The Apocalypse Awards (2016). His work has featured in leading journals and been shortlisted for major prizes, receiving the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize in 2010. As a peer assessor he has worked for the Literature Board of the Australia Council, Creative Victoria and Arts Queensland. He has recently taught Creative Writing at Federation University and continues to conduct school workshops across the country.

What a coup that Sarah Day agreed to judge the Newcastle Poetry Prize this year with Nathan Curnow. Sarah’s most recent book is Tempo (Puncher & Wattmann, 2013); it was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and won the University of Melbourne Wesley Michelle Wright Prize. Awards for previous books include the Judith Wright Calanthe Queensland Premier’s Award, the Judith Wright ACT, the Wesley Michelle Wright Prize and the Anne Elder Award. She was poetry editor of Island Magazine for seven years. Her poems have been widely anthologized in Australia and overseas and have been set to music in Australia and Britain. She has written reviews and articles for magazines such as Island; The Monthly; Southerly; Cordite; Famous Reporter. In 2016 she was one of the judges of the National Wildcare Nature Writing Prize. Her next collection will be published early this year.

Cover of Newcastle Short Story Award anthology 2018

2018 Newcastle Short Story Award finalists announced

By | Newcastle Short Story Award, News

 

Ryan O'Neill, 2018 Newcastle Short Story Award judge

Ryan O’Neill, 2018 Newcastle Short Story Award judge

We are thrilled to announce the authors selected to be published in the 2018 Newcastle Short Story Award anthology.

Join us at the prize ceremony to find out which of these authors (listed below) will win the prize pool valued at over $7000.

Hear the judge, author Ryan O’Neill, discuss short story writing and this competition.

When? On the eve of the Newcastle Writers Festival, at 5.30pm, 6th April, 2018 in City Hall, Newcastle.

 

In alphabetical order, the selected authors are:

Shaynah

Andrews

Not for Me to Understand

Sophia Helen

Barnes

Look Me In The Eye

Kate

Cantrell

We Caught Her in the Act

Edyn

Carter

Gyne

Jessica

Clements

Blackberries

Else

Fitzgerald

Felidae

Chris

Flynn

Fantasia

Jean

Flynn

Suffering is Universal

Marlish

Glorie

Red Dust & Pearls

Cassie

Hamer

Sculptures by the Sea

Rhona

Hammond

Socks

Nicole

Hodgson

Just One Night

Stephanie

Holm

Grey Gum

Elspeth

Ives

End of Lease

Roland

Leach

G

Beverley

Lello

Blue Day

James

McKenzie Watson

Twin Suns

Meg

McNaught

Fresh Dirt

Paul

Mitchell

A Belt for Buddha

Rashida

Murphy

Strands of Jupiter

Alexandra

O’Sullivan

Lucky

Jane

O’Sullivan

Red Belly

Hollen

Pockets

Water the Colour of Clay

M.J.

Reidy

Dachshunds on Antidepressants

Emily

Riches

A Bad Friend

Peter

Rodgers

The Right Call?

Dorothy

Simmons

Jupiter Rising

William

Stanforth

Animalia

Wayne

Strudwick

Postcard

Tanya

Vavilova

Excess Baggage

Sanchana

Venkatesh

Arranged Marriage

Joshua

Wildie

Saviour

 

 

 

The Olley Poems book cover

HWC Poetry Group

By | Member News, News, Poetry at HWC, Writing Groups

Hunter Writers Centre funded the publication of the HWC poetry group’s series of poems that pay tribute to Margaret Olley. Olley was an iconic figure in Australian art whose main focus on landscapes and interiors turned everyday objects and scenes into bursts of colour. As the model for one of Australia’s most recognised Archibald Prize-winning portraits by William Dobell, she looks out towards the viewer, a serene presence with a hint of mischief in her eyes. The book can be purchased from the Newcastle Art Gallery for $15.