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A poem is a many-splendoured thing

USQ Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize open for entry.

On World Poetry Day, a University of Southern Queensland (USQ) academic is encouraging you to put pen to paper and revisit the ancient art form.

“Throughout time words have had the power to provide meaning, comfort and hope,” USQ English Lecturer Associate Professor Jessica Gildersleeve said.

“Poetry gets to the heart of how we feel about the world, whether we read it or write it.”

The day is also a chance to highlight one of Australia’s most recognised and respected poets and poetry competitions, the USQ Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize.

The poetry competition has run for 21 years and encourages burgeoning and established poets to submit their works for a chance to win the prestigious award.

“The Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize is important because it recognises the role of literature and the arts in contemporary society,” Associate Professor Gildersleeve said.

USQ Emeritus Professor Bruce Dawe believed universities should support the study of literature and promote the arts in Australian society. 

His decision to sponsor the prominent USQ literary prize is ongoing proof of his conviction.

Entries will be judged by a panel of University creatives including Associate Professor Gildersleeve, Professor Laurie Johnson, Dr Nike Sulway, Dr Daniel Hourigan, Dr Sharon Bickle and Dr Dallas Baker.

Associate Professor Gildersleeve said the judges would be looking for fresh and insightful prose.

“Poems which take us by surprise, which demonstrate the beauty and strangeness of our language, and which captivate us in their approach,” she said.

“We want to see and hear the voices of Australia's poets so that we can share them on the platform provided by the prize.”

The Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize runs in conjunction with USQ’s Get Writing and Get Songwriting competition for Australian high school students.

Find out more about the Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize.

Bruce Dawe painting
Bruce Dawe by Sven Roehrs (Fryer Library accession number 100528)