Cover of 2020 Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology(click to purchase)

Damen O'Brien
winner of the
2020 Newcastle Poetry Prize 

$25,000 Prize Pool

sponsored by

University of Newcastle logo


First Prize $15,000
Damen O'Brien
Measures of Truth

Second Prize $5,000
Anthony Lawrence

Third Prize $1,000
Rob Edmonds 
'The Long Jetty Ghazals'

2 Commended Awards
Julie Manning
'Groupie Acapella'

Alex Skovron
'The Light We Convert'

Judy Johnson
Local Award
'The Ways You Haven't Left Me'

Harri Jones Memorial Prize
for a poet under 36 years
Peter Ramm
'Rock Hopping'

HWC Members' Award
Christopher Kelen
'the bees'
The 2020 Newcastle Poetry Prize 

The poets published in the 
2020 Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology are:
(in alphabetical order by surname)
Chris Andrews The Island in the Roundabout
Owen Bullock I’m glad you asked me that
Ian Crittenden Colasion
Ian Crittenden Facing the Obelisk
Joe Dolce Vase
Oliver Driscoll In Perugia
Tug Dumbly Sticks n Stones
Tug Dumbly Dry as a Pom’s Towel
Robert Edmonds The Long Jetty Ghazals
Steve Evans The Book of Crow
Luke Fischer On the Pre–Socratics
Christine Fontana Draft
John Foulcher The Babel of Rites
John Foulcher Annotations
Jo Gardiner The Letter Carrier
Ross Gillett Remembering Iraklion
Paul Hetherington Isolations
Judy Johnson The Ways you Haven’t Left Me
Christopher Kelen The Bees
Martin Langford The Boy from the War Veteran’s Home
Anthony Lawrence Keepers
Anthony Lawrence Squall
Frank Leggett The Lost Man
James Lucas Feral
Julie Manning Groupie Acapella
Audrey Molloy Ephemera
Damen O’Brien Measures of Truth
Damen O’Brien Dust
Peter Ramm Rockhopping
Peter Ramm And Cyrus Wept
Joanne Ruppin The Silk Moth Cannot Fly
Alex Skovron The Light We Convert
Rod Usher Nudged
Maria Vouis Woman is the Cow of the World
Caroline Williamson Staying Home
Catherine Wright They


Click here to purchase a previous anthology

Thank you to our 2020 Judges

Michael Ladd - 2020 judge Newcastle Poetry Prize

Mike Ladd is an Australian poet and radio presenter and producer. Mike Ladd was the founding producer of Poetica, a weekly program of poetry broadcast on ABC Radio National. Poetica was first broadcast in February 1997 and continued until February 2015. Influenced by the poetry of the Greek Anthology, the ancient Chinese and Japanese poets, Robert Frost, the European Minimalists and Nazim Hikmet, Ladd’s poetry often combines natural elements with the suburban and industrial. He has published 9 poetry collections and is the author of several video poems. Read more about Mike here.

Judith Beveridge - poetry tutor

Born in England, poet Judith Beveridge moved with her family to Australia in 1960 and earned a BA at the University of Technology, Sydney. Beveridge’s poems model the interaction of spirituality, the natural world, and selfhood. She is the author of poetry collections that include ‘The Domesticity of Giraffes’ (1987); ‘Accidental Grace’ (1996), which won the Wesley Michel Wright Award; ‘Wolf Notes’ (2003), which won the Judith Wright Calanthe Award and the Victorian Premier’s Award; and ‘Storm and Honey’ (2009). Beveridge edited The Best Australian Poetry 2006 and co-edited, with Jill Jones and Louise Wakeling, A Parachute of Blue: First Choice of Australian Poets (1995). Beveridge’s additional honors include the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal, the Dame Mary Gilmore Award, the New South Wales Premier’s Award, and the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize as well as having several poems published over the years in the Newcastle Poetry Prize. Judith served as poetry editor of the literary magazine Meanjin and has taught at Newcastle and Sydney Universities. Read sample works by Judith Beveridge here

NPP 2019 book cover for Soft Serve

NPP Anthology 2018 Buying Online book cover

The Crows in Town 2017 Book Cover NPP

Dangar Island Garbage Boat 2016 book cover

2019 Newcastle Poetry Prize

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


Steve Armstrong NPP 2019 Local Award winner

Steve Armstrong, Local Award winner

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

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

Click here to purchase the 2019 anthology

or choose a past anthology

Caitlin Maling winner Harri Jones Prize

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

Chloe Wilson winner 2019 Newcastle Poetry Prize

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

Audrey Molloy, 2nd Prize winner, NPP 2019

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

Kit Kelen, winner, HWC members award NPP 2019

Kit Kelen, HWC Members award winner
NPP Anthology 2018 Buying Online book cover
Dangar Island Garbage Boat 2016 book cover
Once Wild 2014 book cover
Coastline 2012 Book Cover NPP
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 2018 prizewinners
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

Joanne Ruppin, awarded Commended in the Newcastle Poetry Prize 2018

Joanne Ruppin, awarded Commended in the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize

Kevin Smith, awarded Commended in the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize

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