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The $25,000 Newcastle Poetry Prize generously donated by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) from the University of Newcastle has been announced:

1st Prize: Chloe Wilson 
Soft Serve 

2nd Prize: Audrey Molloy
Mother, I am Your Mother Now 

3rd Prize: Dimitra Harvey 

Commended Awards: $250
Anthony Lawrence

Jayne Fenton Keane
For every year the shark lived another word for snow was born

Local Award: $500
Steve Armstrong
Thirteen Ways to Know My Grandfather

Harri Jones Prize for a poet under 36 years: $500
Caitlin Maling
From What We Have Come to Sea: Lizard Island Poems

HWC Members' Award: $200
Christopher (Kit) Kelen
Hardanger Set

Chloe Wilson winner 2019 Newcastle Poetry Prize

Congratulations, Chloe Wilson from Victoria, winner of the 2019 Newcastle Poetry Prize for her poem ‘Soft Serve’

Dimitra Harvey 3rd prize winner NPPDimitra Harvey, 3rd prize winner


Caitlin Maling winner Harri Jones Prize

Caitlin Maling, winner of the Harri Jones prize 
(for a poet under 36 years)

Click here to purchase the 2019 anthology

or choose a past anthology

NPP Anthology 2018 Buying Online book cover
Dangar Island Garbage Boat 2016 book cover
Once Wild 2014 book cover
Thirteen Ways to Know my Grandfather Steve Armstrong NSW
a-bee-seeing (sijo/stlings) Dan Disney  
Haruspex Tug Dumbly NSW
For every year the shark lived another word for snow was born Jayne Fenton Keane QLD
This Slow Requiem Jo Gardiner NSW
Daedalus and Son Ross Gillett VIC
Thunder only Happens Ross Gillett VIC
Triptych Dimitra Harvey NSW
Translating the House Paul Hetherington ACT
Hardanger Set Christopher Kelen NSW
California 1962 Mitchell Kelly NSW
Bird is the Word Peter Kirkpatrick NSW
The General Trap Andy Kissane NSW
Alphabet Unskinned: a Reader Shari Kocher VIC
Ode to my Father’s Feet Shari Kocher VIC
Epistemology Anthony Lawrence QLD
Klondike Anthony Lawrence QLD
Discontinuous Disclosure Anthony Lawrence QLD
From What We Have Come to Sea Caitlin Maling WA
Duende Caitlin Maling WA
Fragments from a Fragmentation Mal McKimmie VIC
Mother, I am your mother now Audrey Molloy NSW
Mirror in the Mirror Audrey Molloy NSW
Nothing Damen O’Brien QLD
Sestina: taxi ride, Shiraz (tales from the barracks) Hessom Razavi WA
Daughter-Sun Paul Scully NSW
Freefall Heather Taylor-Johnson SA
Grace, And a Barking Owl Mark Tredinnick NSW
Missing Persons Lucy Williams VIC
Soft Serve Chloe Wilson VIC
The Wombat Vedas 2011 Book Cover

Audrey Molloy, 2nd Prize winner, NPP 2019

Audrey Molloy, 2nd Prize winner with Judy Johnson, Judge (L)

Steve Armstrong NPP 2019 Local Award winner

Steve Armstrong, Local Award winner

Kit Kelen, winner, HWC members award NPP 2019

Kit Kelen, HWC Members award winner
Coastline 2012 Book Cover
Now You Shall Know 2013 NPP Book Cover
2015 Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology Connective Tissue book cover
NPP Anthology 2018 Buying Online book cover
Dangar Island Garbage Boat 2016 book cover
Once Wild 2014 book cover
Coastline 2012 Book Cover
Crows in town 2017 book cover
Connective Tissue 2015 Book Cover
Now You Shall Know 2013 NPP Book Cover
The Wombat Vedas 2011 Book Cover

2019 Newcastle Poetry Prize judges

Judy Johnson NPP JUdge

Judy Johnson has published six full-length poetry collections. Her poems have won the Josephine Ulrick, Val Vallis and Bruce Dawe prize,amongst others. Her collections have taken out the Victorian Premier’s Award for poetry, the Wesley Michel Wright prize (twice) and have been shortlisted in the WA and NSW Premier’s awards.

Her verse novel ‘Jack’, published by Picador, was on the syllabus at both Melbourne and Sydney University.She is one of four editors of a 25 year retrospective Contemporary Australian Poetry published by Puncher and Wattmann in 2016. She has twice beena judge of the NSW Premier’s Kenneth Slessor poetry prize, most recently in 2019.

Jaya Savige NPP Judge 2019

Jaya Savige is poetry editor of The Australian newspaper. His appearance in the 2002 Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology was one of his earliest publications. His first collection, Latecomers (UQP, 2005) won the NSW Premier’s Kenneth Slessor Prize, the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott and Val Vallis Prizes, was highly commended for the Dame Mary Gilmore Prize, and was shortlisted for a number of other awards. His second collection, Surface to Air (UQP, 2011), was shortlisted for the Age Poetry Book of the Year and the West Australian Premier’s Prize for Poetry. His most recent collection is a chapbook, Maze Bright (Vagabond Rare Object Series, 2014). Jaya is a former Gates Scholar, having read for a PhD at the University of Cambridge, Christ’s College. He has held Australia Council residencies in Rome and Paris, and is a former recipient of the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship. He is currently based in London, where he is Head of Creative Writing and Lecturer in English at the New College of the Humanities. Jaya’s next collection will be published by UQP in 2020.

2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology


purchase here

(if you are in the USA, purchase the anthology here)

The prizewinners are
1st prize: Ross Gillett for the poem 'Buying Online'
Equal 2nd prize: John Watson for the poem 'Five Replies to Miss Moore'
and Mark Tredinnick for the poem 'The River Running Shallow'
Harri Jones Memorial Prize for a poet under 36: Chloe Wilson for the poem 'Memory of Snails'
Commended: Kevin Smith for the poem 'Thirteen Ways of Knowing My Father'
Commended: Joanne Ruppin for the poem 'Time Travelling with Baby'
Read what the winners have to say about their success

NPP Anthology 2018 Buying Online book cover

Ross Gillett, winner of the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize

Ross Gillett, winner of the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize

Crows in town 2017 book cover
Once Wild 2014 book cover

Congratulations to the finalists published in the 2018 Anthology

Here is the list in alpha order by poem:

Adam Gibson A disco in the bush NSW
Joan Fleming A Poem Containing Violence VIC
Damen O’Brien A Survey of Australia’s Religions QLD
John Watson Box Brownie Album NSW
Darby Hudson Broken Door VIC
Ross Gillett Buying Online VIC
K A Nelson Desert flaneurs ACT
Vidhya Karnamadakala Driver NSW
Sarah Holland-Batt Equations for a Falling Body QLD
John Watson Five Replies to Miss Moore NSW
Maria Takolander Fractured States of America VIC
Mark Tredinnick Grief Wears a Body NSW
Toby Fitch King Tide NSW
Andy Jackson Operations VIC
Robert H. F. Carver Prepping for the Apocalypse UK (Aust citizen)
Guy Kelleher Secession QLD
Mark O’Flynn Shackleton’s Hut NSW
Kristen Lang The breadth of the moment TAS
Chloe Wilson The Memory of Snails VIC
Kevin Smith The Mill Road QLD
Mark Tredinnick The Reservoir NSW
Mark Tredinnick The River Running Shallow NSW
Andy Kissane The War—Then and Now NSW
Brett Dionysius The Wee-Vee QLD
Kevin Smith Thirteen Ways of Knowing My Father QLD
David Adès Tidal NSW
Joanne Ruppin Time Travelling with Baby NSW
Kristin Hannaford unmothering QLD
Peter Kirkpatrick Versities: Building X NSW
Alison Flett Wherever this is it’s where we are SA

Purchase a past anthology here

Joanne Ruppin, awarded Commended in the Newcastle Poetry Prize 2018

Joanne Ruppin, awarded Commended in the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize

Kevin Smith, commended prize winner NPP 2018

Kevin Smith

Mark Tredinnick

What poets say about the Newcastle Poetry Prize

Having my poem selected for publication in the Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology gave me a feeling of reassurance that I am being seen and heard by my peers. Poetry can sometimes be an undervalued and misunderstood genre - the more people who care about promoting it, the more it blossoms. Hunter Writers Centre and the University of Newcastle are doing an amazing job at giving poetry in Australia the spotlight it deserves.

Lucy Williams2017 Newcastle Poetry Prize Winner

It has been my pleasure and privilege to be involved with the Newcastle Poetry Prize over the years in different ways, as a judge, as a sometimes prize winner and as a poet within the pages of various anthologies. The first time I was published as a result of the competition was in 1995. I will never forget the joy and awe I felt finding my little poem surrounded by the poems of Australia’s finest poets. That feeling of wonder and gratitude has not left me, and I am thrilled at winning a prize in this important competition in 2016 and being represented in the current anthology.

Judy Johnson

Significant prizes such as the NPP, with its long history, are of critical value, less for the money they offer than for the way they bring poetry to public attention, and as a filter of quality. The fact that this competition can attract judges of the stature of those for this year´s prize indicates that the Newcastle is one of the nation´s most important, and that the University of Newcastle is a leader in maintaining its support for it.

Rod Usher

The Newcastle Poetry Prize, co-ordinated by Hunter Writers Centre, is the jewel every poet would love to claim.

Jean Kent, Poet

It is my impression that the Newcastle Poetry Prize is still widely regarded as the most important poetry prize in Australia. I certainly think of it in this way.

Brook Emery1999 Newcastle Poetry Prize Winner

The crucial thing about the Newcastle is the encouragement it gives to the writing of long poems. To my knowledge it is the only poetry prize in Australia that allows for the submission of unpublished poems longer than 100 lines. The 200 line limit allows a poet to stretch out, to explore at length the possibilities of a narrative or meditative sequence, a dramatic monologue (or dialogue for that matter) or any other exploratory poetic mode. The publication of the prize anthology offers a rare opportunity for high quality longer form poems to be published, and the recognition of the winning poems by the granting of significant monetary prizes does a lot to reinforce the professional status of poetry as an art form capable of producing sustained original work.

Ross Gillett