The 2020 Newcastle Poetry Prize is now open for entries
Judges are Mike Ladd and Judith Beveridge
Sponsored by the University of Newcastle there is a $25,000 prize pool and a chance to be published in the 39th anthology
Why not Purchase a past anthology and enjoy some excerpts from past finalists below.
Always going home (a domestic cycle) by Karina Quinn Give (I cannot be separate) It is almost unbearable, the nearness of these children. The feeling that they are trying to swallow me. I want more than anything to be out, and away, and at exactly the same time I cannot bear to leave them, so soft, so beaming beautiful shining like silver underwater shot by the sun. At exactly the same time I want them to climb back inside of me, and I into them, as if we could consume each other, as if our bodies have never been entirely separate. As if we are made of dough, and by pushing into each other, we will incorporate; we will mix. We will be made into a new thing full of air and yeast and warmth. The space between us elastic with give.
Excerpt from Hex by Connor Strange The night is alive with dust in harbour light. Gene Vincent’s son- in-spirit, Ian Dury, is on the radio, kicking blues from the word rhythm. I am doing my best to keep from drowning in a maelstrom of disorder. What is my name? Where are the ones I have silenced with imagining? Turn up the volume. I will not falter. The night is coal-black and still.
Excerpt from The River Running Shallow by Mark Tredinnick And at the bend a foretaste of the evening Pools and wells, and I swim the scent of ages Past, the learning way down deep in things, And I feel a coolness like the dawn upon My skin. The sky, meantime, premeditates Some rain, which, as I turn, deigns to fall, Desultory, a while, upon the descant Chat of children after dinner, beyond The hedge . . . And step by step my mind relents, And night becomes a house where all I carry Puts itself to bed—three children, tired Now of being every sound that heard them In my head, and every way they were not Here, but were the rehabilitated Sense the river running shallow in deep Banks made of where I found myself, Accompanied each step by all I love. Before they sleep my children read me this: Grief is proof of love; it lets you walk “The sweet music of your particular heart” In step with all you thought you’d lost—but can’t.
Excerpt from A disco in the bush by Adam Gibson [Parnngurr, W.A. 9pm] There’s a big mob gathered in from Punmu and Jigalong, east from Warakurna, over from Kunawarratji and up from Parnpajinya, here for the funeral, having arrived in battered cars that you can’t believe survived that road and dust-sprayed Toyotas that now sit like emperors in the hot late-July sun. The red dirt is rusted, no shade beneath the trees with all the lower branches ripped off for firewood and dogs fight amongst each other as the service is conducted on the red flat earth in the centre of community. Then night falls and the kids emerge, creeping out to the sound of music pumping from DJ decks in the community hall, the new supply shop operator spinning the tracks, he’s cool, while torches are flashed in the dusty darkness and dozens of faces line the walls.