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On Saturday 18 November 2023 at the
University of Newcastle’s state-of-the-art Q Building,
the winners of the  2023 Newcastle Poetry Prize were announced, 
with Kevin Smith taking home the first prize for his poem, ‘The Crossing’.


First Prize:
Kevin Smith, ‘The Crossing’


Second Prize: 
Mark Tredinnick, ‘Lines for Late Winter; Or, the Reef Heron’


Third Prize:
Jo Gardiner, ‘A Country Childhood’


Highly Commended:
Todd Turner, ‘On the Vale of Soul-Making’

Dženana Vucic, ‘my father sits in a room alone’


Harri Jones Memorial Prize: 
Jake Goetz, ‘Internal Climates’


Local Award:
Jean Kent, ‘A Garden of the World’


Hunter Writers’ Centre Member Award 
Christopher (Kit) Kelen, ‘Bukovina’

2023 Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology

Introducing the 2023 Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology, The Crossing, showcasing the best of Australian poetry. The anthology presents the shortlisted poems from the 2023 competition, as well as the award-winning title piece, ‘The Crossing’ by Kevin Smith.

Contributing (Shortlisted) Poets: Eileen Chong, Joe Dolce, SJ Finn, Jo Gardiner, Susan Garman, Jake Goetz, Kerry Greer, Andrew Heath, Paul Hetherington, Christopher (Kit) Kelen, Jean Kent, Jennifer Kornberger, Roberta Lowing, Greg McLaren, Rachael Mead, Audrey Molloy, Mark O’Flynn, Vuong Pham, Bronwyn Rodden, Robyn Rowland, Kevin Smith, Craig Smith, Mark Tredinnick, Todd Turner, Dženana Vucic, Jo Ward

The 2023 anthology is available for purchase at the Hunter Writers’ Centre bookshop.

Cover art by Leslie Duffin.


About the Newcastle Poetry Prize

For over 30 years, the Newcastle Poetry Prize has championed Australian poets and their craft. With its generous prize pool sponsored by The University of Newcastle, and a first prize of $15,000, this significant competition provides a platform for both emerging and established voices to shine.

Renowned poets and judges have lauded the Newcastle Poetry Prize for its notable impact on Australian literature. The Prize embraces the long form poem, allowing poets to explore their craft across up to 200 lines. This distinctive aspect presents a challenge for poets to skilfully sustain their work, carefully balancing tone, pace, and rhythm to captivate readers throughout the journey.

The prize not only offers financial rewards to the winners but also enhances their media profile, increases their chances of further publication, and propels their careers to new heights. The national attention garnered by the prize has solidified Newcastle’s position as a prominent cultural hub for poetry in Australia.

The accompanying anthology, a hallmark of the Newcastle Poetry Prize, offers a coveted platform for poets to be published and their words celebrated. Each year, the anthology captures the vibrant state of Australian poetry, featuring not only shorter verses but also longer, thought-provoking works that challenge and inspire.



The Newcastle Poetry Prize is an annual poetry competition managed by the Hunter Writers’ Centre.

Entries are now closed for the 2023 Newcastle Poetry Prize. Thank you to everyone who submitted a poem.

A shortlist will be announced in late October.

The Newcastle Poetry Prize generous prize pool is sponsored by the University of Newcastle.

  • First Prize: $15,000
  • Second prize: $5,000
  • Third Prize: $1,000
  • Harri Jones Memorial Prize: $500
  • Highly Commended Awards (x2): $250 each
  • Local Award: $250
  • Member Award: $250


Poems up to 200 lines can be entered. This includes titles and sub-headings. There is no minimum line limit.


Australian citizens or residents over the age of 18 years or older.


PLEASE NOTE: Terms and Conditions have been updated to clarify if poems can be entered into other competitions. Please see Item 12 in the Terms and Conditions.

The Newcastle Poetry Prize is open for entries from Friday 16 June 2023 and close on the 4th August 2023.

  1. IMPORTANT: Read carefully the Terms and Conditions of Entry, and the Frequently Asked Questions.
  2. Fill out the submission form below, and upload your entries. We only accept Word document (.doc, docx). There is no limit on the number of entries. 
  3. Please ensure the uploaded filename is the name of your entered poem.
  4. Pay entry fees. Entry fees are $35.20 per entry ($32.00 + $3.20 GST). One poem = one entry = one entry fee.
  5. You will receive a confirmation email with an overview of your entry form. If you have not received this, please check your spam folder as it may be hiding there, and if you have still not received it,  contact the Hunter Writers Centre.
Not mandatory, but it would be fantastic if you could:
  1. Like the Hunter Writers Centre’ on Facebook and/or Instagram
  2. Please share the competition through your social pages and networks. We appreciate it!

If you have any further questions, please contact us on info(@) 


  • Entries open: Friday 16th June, 2023
  • Entries close: 11.59pm, Friday 4 August, 2023
  • Shortlist announced: October
  • Newcastle Poetry Prize Ceremony: Saturday 18 November, 2023


Judith Nangala Crispin Headshot

Judith Nangala Crispin

Judith Nangala Crispin is a poet and visual artist of Bpangerang and mixed descent, living on unceded Yuin Country on the NSW Southern Tablelands. She has published two collections of poetry and her verse novel will be released this year. Judith won the 2020 Blake prize for poetry and has been shortlisted for various other prizes. She has been commissioned by The National Gallery of Australia, The National Museum of Australia, Musica Viva and Red Room Poetry. Judith has a Ph.D in music and is in the final year of a Doctorate of Arts in Poetry. Her work has appeared in numerous Australian and international journals and anthologies over the past twenty years.

John Foulcher Headshot square

John Foulcher

John Foulcher has written twelve books of poetry. His latest book, Dancing with Stephen Hawking (Pitt Street Poetry 2021), was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Poetry Prize in 2022. His work has appeared in Australian magazines and anthologies over nearly forty years, and he has received or been short-listed for many awards, including the National Library Poetry Prize, the ACU Poetry Prize, the Newcastle Poetry Prize, the Peter Porter Poetry Prize, the Gwen Harwood poetry prize and the Montreal International Poetry Prize. In 2010-11 he was the Literature Board of the Australia Council’s resident at the Keesing Studio in Paris. His books can be purchased from