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Celebrating 10 years of poetry prize


The Australian Catholic University (ACU) Prize for Poetry, one of Australia’s richest poetry prizes, is celebrating a decade this year.

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Founded in 2013, the ACU Prize for Poetry has become a respected annual event in the nation’s literary scene and inspired by the Catholic Church’s role as the largest patron of the arts, the prize has supported the emergence of new Australian poets and poetry.

Winners of the prize include poets Stephen Edgar, Helen Thurloe, Kristen Lang, Mark Tredinnick OAM, Geoff Page, Annie Hunter, John Foulcher, Anna Murchison and last year’s recipient Meredith Wattison.

Emeritus Professor Margot Hillel OAM has judged the prize every year since its inception and said it was a “privilege” to be able to read poems contributed from around Australia.

“I think the fact that we’ve got so many entries and such high quality is a testament to how important poetry is in the arts scene in Australia,” she said, adding this was especially evident during the pandemic.

“People get a kind of solace from writing poetry. During the pandemic, it really did give people comfort, and there were huge numbers of entries in one of the COVID years.”

Every year the prize asks poets to reflect on a theme, with this year’s focus being ‘Love’.

“Love has been a universal theme of poetry forever,” Emeritus Professor Hillel said.

“Shakespeare and John Donne of course are very famous for their sonnets on love. We are really excited and interested to see what comes up this year.”

Entries for the poetry prize close on July 3.

For more details on how to enter go to

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