THE BLAKE POETRY PRIZE

ABOUT THE PRIZE


The Blake Poetry Prize challenges Australian poets to explore the spiritual and religious in a new work of 100 lines or less.

From 2017 Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in partnership with WestWords has delivered The Blake Poetry Prize as a biennial event. It continues to engage contemporary poets, both national and international, in conversations concerning faith, spirituality, religion and/or belief. It runs alongside the Blake Art Prize and the major prize is $5000.

The Blake Poetry Prize is an aesthetic means of exploring the wider experience of spirituality with the visionary imagining of contemporary poets. The Blake Prize takes its name from William Blake, a poet and artist of undoubted genius, who integrated religious and artistic content in his work. The Blake Poetry Prize challenges contemporary poets of disparate styles to explore the spiritual and religious in a new work of 100 lines or less.

The Blake Poetry Prize is strictly non-sectarian. The entries are not restricted to works related to any faith or any artistic style, but all poems entered must have a recognisable religious or spiritual integrity and demonstrate high degrees of artistic and conceptual proficiency.

The Poetry Blake Prize
$5,000
Non-Acquisitive

The Blake Prize is an open poetry prize that challenges artists to engage in conversations relating to religion and spirituality. It is open to all faiths and artistic styles.

For more details and to enter visit www.westwords.com.au

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Please note each entry requires a separate payment. Eligible entries require both a completed entry form and payment of $30 entry fee.


KEY DATES

Entries open: 2024 - date TBC
Entries close: 2024 - date TBC

Shortlist announcement: TBC

Launch & Winners Announcement: TBC
The Blake Art Prize Exhibition dates: TBC

Join our mailing list for more updates here.


Previous Winners

The winner of the 67th Blake Poetry Prize was Simone King, for her poem Surfing Again.

Simone King is a poet, writer and editor who lives on Wurundjeri Country in Naarm/Melbourne. Her poems and reviews can be found in Rabbit, Cordite, Plumwood Mountain, Right Now and several print poetry anthologies. Simone won first prize in the 2021 Woorilla Poetry Prize (Judith Rodriguez open section) and received prizes for her poems in the 2018 Australian Grieve Writing Competition, the 2019 June Shenfield Poetry Award (highly commended) and the 2020 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize (commended). Simone co-edited What we Carry: Poetry on Childbearing, Recent Work Press, 2021.

Judges’ Comments:

This is a graceful and moving account of coming to terms with loss. The language is economical, elegant and authentic. It does not shelter behind the opacities of abstract or elevated language, but rather conveys bravely, and with great vulnerability, the lived truth of loss and of honouring the dead.

Creating life within its language this poem is a wonderful deep breath. I wonder if Marquez’s love may be a reminiscence of returning from his journeys into loneliness and the loss of a loved one.

This prose poem successfully and indelibly creates a moving story of travel, loss and homage to friendship using language that avoids sentimentality yet embraces raw emotion. A fine example of how restraint can be luminous and lasting.

Read here: Surfing Again

Watch here:


Watch James Roy, program manager for WestWords, in conversation with Simone King (winner), Kirsten Krauth and Gershon Maller, 67th Blake Prize shortlisted poets. They discuss what spirituality and belief means to them and the importance of storytelling.

About the Blake Poetry Prize

Since 2016 Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) has conducted The Blake Poetry Prize as a bi-annual event, ensuring the future of this landmark prize. The Blake Poetry Prize is presented in partnership with WestWords. For enquiries and further information visit westwords.com.au

WestWords and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre will maintain the guiding principles of The Blake Poetry Prize in continuing to engage contemporary poets, both national and international, in conversations concerning faith, spirituality, religion, hope, humanity, social justice, belief and non-belief. The Blake Poetry Prize is an aesthetic means of exploring the wider experience of spirituality with the visionary imagining of contemporary poets.

The Blake Prize takes its name from William Blake, a poet and artist who integrated religious and artistic content in his work. The Blake Poetry Prize challenges contemporary poets of disparate styles to explore the spiritual and religious in a new work of 100 lines or less. The Blake Poetry Prize is strictly non-sectarian. The entries are not restricted to works related to any faith or any artistic style, but all poems entered must have a recognisable religious or spiritual integrity.

Judges for the Blake Poetry Prize 2021

Judith Nangala Crispin
Judith is a poet and visual artist of Bpangerang descent and is currently poetry editor of The Canberra Times. Judith is also the author of two additional published collections of poems, The Myrrh-Bearers (Puncher & Wattmann, 2015), and The Lumen Seed (Daylight Books, 2017). She was the winner of the 2020 Blake Poetry Prize. To hear an interview with Judith and the 2021 highly commended poet, Louise Carter, please click here.

Anthony Lawrence
Anthony has published seventeen books of poems and a novel. His most recent collection is Ken (Life Before Man, 2021). His books and individual poems have won many awards, including The Blake Poetry Prize, The Prime Ministers Literary Award for Poetry, The Kenneth Slessor Poetry Award and the Judith Wright Calanthe Award. He is a Senior Lecturer at Griffith University, where he teaches Creative Writing.

Juan Garrido-Salgado
Juan Garrido-Salgado immigrated to Australia from Chile in 1990, fleeing the regime that burned his poetry and imprisoned and tortured him for his political activism. He has published eight books of poetry and his work has been widely translated. He has also translated works by a number of leading Australian & Aboriginal poets into Spanish, including five Aboriginal poets for the anthology Espejo de Tierra/ Earth Mirror (2008). With Steve Brock and Sergio Holas, Garrido-Salgado also translated into English the Trilingual Mapuche Poetry Anthology. The book When I was Clandestine was part of a poetical tour at the Granada International Poetry Festival in Nicaragua, Mexico and Cuba (La Habana City) in 2019. Hope Blossoming in Their Ink ( Puncher & Wattman) in 2020. Three of his poems were published at Saturdaypaper.com May 21.