Queenslanders from all walks of life and every corner of the state have a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money and a shot at being published with two poetry competitions calling for entries.
Arts Minister Ian Walker urged Queenslanders to forward their finest lines for the $4,000 Val Vallis Award for Unpublished Poetry and the $3,000 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize.
“These awards are open to anyone across the state and deliver on key election commitments, so I urge Queenslanders to have a go,” Mr Walker said.
“We promised arts for all Queenslanders, and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see someone who doesn’t necessarily think of themselves as a writer get up.
“You could put a pin anywhere on a map of Queensland and that’s where the winners could come from.
“The only criteria will be their talent, and regional Queensland has no shortage there.
“The Val Vallis Award is a national prize for an unpublished poem or suite of poems, while the Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, open to Queenslanders, offers a publishing contract with University of Queensland Press.
“Our work with the Queensland Poetry Festival to present these awards is part of our drive to develop new work and discover Queensland writing talent.”
Queensland Poetry Festival artistic director Sarah Gory said the poetry initiatives were an important platform for poets, who will benefit from workshops with British-Somali poet Warsan Shire, 2014 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence.
“The prizes and Poet in Residence program signal to the wider community that poetry is a valued part of our cultural life: they give poetry a turn in the spotlight,” Ms Gory said.
The two poetry awards, funded by the Queensland Government, close 10 July with winners named on 20 August at the opening of the Queensland Poetry Festival. More information is available on www.queenslandpoetryfestival.com.