I’m very excited to be able to announce publicly that I have shortlisted in the UK’s richest prize for unpublished poems, The Manchester Poetry Prize.
It is a great honour to be counted alongside the other five finalists, who out of an entry pool of thousands have made the list. This year, finalists have come from the UK, USA, Australia, Jamaica and the Philippines. The full press release can be found here:
In a bit of a whirlwind, I will be flying out of Sydney next week to attend the prize giving ceremony at the Manchester Metropolitan University where the winner will receive £10,000.
My sincere thanks to the prize judges Malika Booker (chair), Romalyn Ante and Zaffar Kunial.
The prize was originally set up by Britain’s Poet Laureate Carol Anne Duffy over a decade ago and has received entries from over 80 countries worldwide.
I’d also like to thank Ashley Ramm for her support (and permission) to continue to live this crazy life of mine and to go with her blessing in such short notice, and my sister Esther Joy who was kind enough to volunteer to come with me.
A special thanks to Mark Tredinnick and others who have guided my writing for a number of years now, who have encouraged me to ask more of language and to look beyond the boundaries of the banal and mundane.
All the shortlisted poems can be read on the Manchester Poetry Prize website: https://www.mmu.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2022-05/2021-Manchester-Poetry-Prize-shortlist.pdf
My entry titled "Landfall" charts through the lens of a father, the current state of our relationship with the land; the harm that we do to the ecology of places when we misuse language and policy, but, also, the hope that children bring to the world in all its newness, and the solace and restoration that can be found walking with them in these places.
I will be reading a selection from the poems on the night and will record parts of them as well, which I hope to share later.
I'm grateful to my work for releasing me at such short notice to attend the ceremony in what has been a difficult few months emerging from COVID lockdowns and spread.
What a thrill to join with poets from across the globe for a night celebrating the way poetry reaches across the world and into our lives. Even to a small town on the outer limits of the Sydney region.