457 Prize in Poetry – presented by The Australian Centre, University of Melbourne; Australian Poetry; Lines to Time; and The Social Studio

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.

Closing Date

All applications must be received not later than COB on Friday 18 October 2013. Any applications received after that time will be deemed ineligible.

Award Night

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. 

The Shortlist

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.

  • Each submitted poem must be comprised of 3 and only 3 stanzas: the first stanza must be of 4 lines, the second 5 lines, the third 7 lines.
  • Every poem submitted must be the original work of the author. No poem may have been previously published.
  • Each poem shortlisted will be awarded AU$457.00, and their poems will be published online by Australian Poetry. Applicants for this prize agree by submitting their work that their name, the name of their work and publishers details may be published on the Australian Poetry website, the Australian Centre Website, and other University of Melbourne publications.
  • Your poem will not be returned after the judging.
  • No correspondence will be entered into. The judges’ decision will be final.


Application process

You must supply the following documents in hard copy to support your application:

  • A completed application form. Each poem must be accompanied by a completed application form and the entrance fee.
  • Please do not put your name or identifying details on the poem itself, but you must include a title which is also to be entered on the application form.
  • You may apply as many times as you want.
  • The entrance fee must be paid online on this page – see below.
  • 4 x hardcopies of 1 x poem of 3 stanzas: the first stanza must be 4 lines long; the second stanza 5 lines long; the third stanza 7 lines long. Any poem not meeting the formal requirements will be deemed ineligible.


Application Form:


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


Entry Fee:

The entry fee of $15 per entry is payable on this site:

457 Prize in Poetry: entry fee


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.