Floodtide in the heart: vale Seamus Heaney

The world of letters is in shock to learn that Seamus Heaney, Ireland’s best-loved poet, died on Friday at age 74. “The death has taken place of Seamus Heaney,” publisher Faber and Faber said on behalf of the family. “The poet and Nobel Laureate died in hospital in Dublin this morning after a short illness.” […]

Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2013

While Kevin Rudd was in Darwin proclaiming the need for “a national imagination” to grasp the economic potential of northern Australia, his Arts Minister, Tony Burke, was in Brisbane to celebrate the nation’s top imagination-makers at the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, announced on the terrace of the State Library last night. Burke no doubt won […]

Michelle de Kretser wins the Miles Franklin

But surely it would have been a pity not to have seen the trees along this road, really exaggerated in their beauty – Elizabeth Bishop, ‘Questions of Travel’ After a week of rampant sexism in the media, a good-news story about a woman comes as a welcome relief. At a ceremony at the National Library […]

The wrap: poetry in the news (w/e 8 May 2013)

The wrap: poetry in the news (w/e 8 May 2013)

A handwritten poem by Oscar Wilde has sold for over four times its estimate at auction – fetching just over $100,000 (roughly $2,500 per line) – making it one of the most valuable poems ever written by an Irishman. Born on the same date that Wilde died, Alex Dimitrov – founder of a queer poetry salon in NYC called Wilde Boys – is Doing It Ruthlessly and All the Time, while patron saint of poetry, James Longenbach, is busy singing The Virtues of Poetry.

The wrap: poetry in the news (w/e 2 May 2013)

A British scholar finds Vita Sackville-West’s poem to her mistress, Violet Trefusis, when it falls out of a book, while a Canadian poet constructs a found poem from reviews of books by women in major publications (but switches the pronouns to male). Par exemple: “Much of his novel seems held together with a kind of teary hormonal paste”. In Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice, Professor Daisy Fried proclaims “The Poetess has long felt that women’s equality should be founded in the notion that a woman is no worse than a man” and proceeds to declare Charles Bukowski “our greatest living poetess“.

The wrap: poetry in the news (w/e 25 apr 2013)

The wrap: poetry in the news (w/e 25 apr 2013)

In Los Angeles, a Harvard poet wondered ”Is this too loud, is this too soft, am I going on too long?” while Sharon Olds put the ideal of her husband to rest and won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Anne Carson published a poem composed using a random integer generator in the London Review of Books, and James Franco released a poem on the occasion of his 35th birthday. Bollywood heartthrob Farhan Akhtar penned a poem after hearing a five-year-old girl in Delhi had been raped and tortured by her neighbour. Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer penned “the worst poem of all time“ in her musings on the younger Boston Marathon bomber. Historians noted 397 and 189 years have passed since Shakespeare and Byron, respectively, died of fevers.

May 31: shoalhaven literary award

May 31: shoalhaven literary award

The Shoalhaven Literary Award for short stories 2013 is now open. The judge this year will be Moya Simons. First Prize $1000 plus a two-week artist’s residency at Bundanon. Closing date: 31 May 2013.

May 24: queensland literary awards

May 24: queensland literary awards

The Queensland Literary Awards (QLA) is Queensland’s most significant suite of literary prizes. A $5,000 prize will be awarded in each award category. Nominations close 5pm 24 May 2013.

May 31: elizabeth jolley short story prize

May 31: elizabeth jolley short story prize

The Australian Book Review Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize is for a short story in English of between 2000 and 5000 words. The prize will be judged by Tony Birch, Maria Takolander and Terri-ann White and first prize is AUD$5,000. Entries close 31 May.

June 7: Newcastle Poetry Prize

One of the most lucrative poetry prizes in Australia, the Newcastle Poetry Prize offers $20,250 in total prize money with a first place award of $12,000, a second prize of $5,000 and third prize of $1,000. In addition, the $500 Local Award is given to a poet who resides in the Hunter Region and the Harri Jones Memorial Prize awards $250 for the best poem by a poet under the age of 36. Entries close 7 June 2013.