Monday, 6 January 2020

2020 Peter Porter Poetry Prize

The shortlist is out for the 2020 Peter Porter Poetry Prize.
The late Peter Porter AO
The prize has been awarded since 2005 and was renamed in 2011 to honour the great Brisbane-born poet after his death in 2010.
The 2020 prize winner will be announced on 16th January. In the meantime you might like to select your favorite poem from the shortlist published on the Australian Book Review website

I'm having a bit of trouble deciding which poem I think should win.

Unfortunately I don't understand Lachlan Brown's "Precision Signs" at first reading - I will go back to it later to see what I can make of it.
I love Claire Coleman's "That Wadjela Tongue" about her lost language and the colonisers who
"dragged my language off the land, scraped
 my tongue they could not bring themselves to cut out".
Her mastery of the colonisers' tongue has become her greatest weapon.
A.Frances Johnson has written a dark and evocative poem about dementia in "My Father's Thesaurus" that is hugely relevant to many of my peers, and probably to yours as well.
Julie Manning's "Constellation of Bees" is beautifully written with a subtle message about what we are doing to the environment. Julie has written my favourite line. It's about the vermilion Tulip Tree which  "blooms with fragrant open cups - nightclub porn
                               for bees"
And Ross Gillett's "South Coast Sonnets", a clever extended metaphor about a marriage in the form of five sonnet-shaped stanzas, is both clever and evocative.

I'm no expert when it comes to poetry and it seems in this case I don't even know what I like! (Well, not what I like best anyway.)
Take a look for yourself and see what you think. (Here's the link to the shortlist again)

I'm keen to see a Creative Doctor on that shortlist one day soon, and I can think of one or two already who deserve to be there. Could it be you?

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