Newcastle Poetry Prize showcases city’s artistic leanings

RECOGNITION: Perennial Newcastle Poetry Prize entrant Magdalena Ball, of Martinsville. Picture: Dean OslandTHE Newcastle Poetry Prize is a driving inspiration for Martinsville writer Magdalena Ball.
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With a full-time job and three kids, she finds a deadline is a useful driving force for creating good poetry.

Ms Ball has been entering the competition since 2004, when she made the shortlist with her collaborative multimedia piece.

She has written two novels, one full-length book of poetry and many chapbooks of poetry.

“I’ve been writing as long as I can remember,” she said.

“The Newcastle Poetry Prize is my go-to. I enter it every year.”

Ms Ball said she thought poetry competitions were a great way to get some recognition and make a name in the industry.

She said it was not just about winning.

“I love the competition because it has Newcastle in the name,” she said.

“It’s close to home and I love the fact that it bolsters the local neighbourhood and gives this area a bit more of an artistic reputation beyond being an industrial city.”

Established and emerging writers alike from all over Australia are preparing for this year’s Newcastle Poetry Prize.

The competition, in its 33rd year, is co-ordinated by the Hunter Writers’ Centre and has been funded by the University of Newcastle since 2005.

The cash prize pool totals $20,000, including $12,000 for first place. There is also a category winner for local Hunter poets and the Harri Jones Memorial Prize for young poets under the age of 36.

“The Newcastle Poetry Prize harnesses the diverse talents from across the country and each year a high calibre of poems from both published and emerging poets are submitted,” university deputy vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Parfitt said.

The competition is judged blind, giving both experienced and novice poets an even playing field.

Twenty-five entries will be compiled in an anthology linked to the competition.

Entries close at 5pm on Friday, June 20.

To read Ms Ball’s work, visit magdalenaball上海后花园m.

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