Poetry and politics have always been connected: poems have been commissioned for public events by politicians; poems are written about political events, both as praise and blame; poems and politics both have inventive uses of language at their core. This competition revivifies these ancient links between poetry and politics by calling for submissions on a topic that draws together many different and pressing political issues of the present: the Australian 457 visa for skilled immigrants.
Despite the emotions that can be raised in the political sphere, the competition and the poems do not rehearse party-political opinions or other existing ideas about this topic — for poetry precisely should speak otherwise and speak better than existing means if it is indeed to be true poetry at all.
To this end, the competition will ask people to submit a poem consisting of 3 stanzas with the first having 4 lines, the second 5 lines and the final 7 lines.
The prize will be judged by an outstanding jury of 4 members, chaired by the eminent poet and academic Professor Chris Wallace-Crabbe.
Professor Christopher Wallace-Crabbe, The University of Melbourne
Professor Kevin Brophy, The University of Melbourne
Dr Nicholas Chare, Senior Lecturer, The University of Melbourne
Grace McQuilten, Director of The Social Studio
Proceeds from the competition will be donated to The Social Studio www.thesocialstudio.org, who will invest the moneys in ongoing refugee education.
All applications must be received not later than COB on Friday 18 October 2013. Any applications received after that time will be deemed ineligible.
The winners of the 457 poetry competition will be announced at a public reading at the Wheeler Centre, Thursday 7 November 2013, 6.00-8.00pm.
Shortlisted poems will receive a cheque of AU$457.00, and the publication of their poem on the Australian Poetry website.
Submission Guidelines and Conditions
The 457 Prize in Poetry is open for award to an author or composer of original verse or poetry in English, and who is an Australian citizen.
You must supply the following documents in hard copy to support your application:
Mail the completed application form and poem to:
Dr Jolanta Nowak
The Australian Centre, Faculty of Arts
John Medley Building
University of Melbourne
Parkville VIC 3010
The entry fee of $15 per entry is payable on this site:
Note that you may apply for the competition as many times as you like. Each poem must be accompanied by a separate application form and entry fee.