It was a good mail day today. No rates notices or electricity bills, just a copy of the ACU Prize for Poetry Anthology Resilience for 2021.
It was very special to see three of my poems in print in the anthology this year. It is the first year I've made the shortlist and to have three of my poems selected from the 700 entries was a real privilege. The Peters did well at the beginning of the anthology and it feels a special honour to have a poem in the opening few and at the end.
My poem "Robertson Redux in May; Or picking through the pieces with you" was written for Ashley for last year's ACU, but it failed to make the cut. So, this year, it's wonderful to see it in there.
The first poem of mine in the anthology was a reflection after a weekend away with mates. It's for Brendan, Craig and Dan who I've known since primary school and who are still close.
Again, my thanks to the judges and all at the Australian Catholic University for taking the time to consider my work and for their ongoing support of poetry in Australia.
The ACU is one of Australia's most prestigious prizes and I'm honoured to be counted alongside so many exceptional Australian poets. Of special note is my friend and mentor Mark Tredinnick who also has three poems in the anthology, and Kevin Smith, Denise O'Hagan, Steve Armstrong, Damen O'Brien, Stuart Barnes, Tug Dumbly, Anthony Lawrence, Robyn Rowlan, Ross Gillett, Geoff Page, John Foulcher, and Jennifer Harrison who I have come to know or whose work I greatly admire. And to the many others, especially Anna Murchison who won this year, whose writing I can now have the pleasure of reading—my congratulations.