Australian Poetry

ABR is pleased to present the shortlist for the 2021 Peter Porter Poetry Prize, which this year received a record field of 1,329 entries from thirty-three different countries. Congratulations to those who reached the shortlist: Danielle Blau, Sara M. Saleh, Jazz Money, Raisa Tolchinsky, and Y.S. Lee.

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ABR is pleased to present the shortlist for the 2022 Peter Porter Poetry Prize, which this year received 1,328 poems from thirty-four countries. Congratulations to those who reached the shortlist: Chris Arnold, Dan Disney, Michael Farrell, Anthony Lawrence, and Debbie Lim. Each of their poems is listed below in alphabetical order by author. For the full longlist, click here.

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Renga: 100 poems by John Kinsella and Paul Kane

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March 2018, no. 399

Poets aren’t generally known for being great collaborators. Wordsworth and Coleridge’s 'Lyrical Ballads' (1798) is a rare example of a co-authored canonical work of poetry. 'Renga: 100 poems', by John Kinsella and Paul Kane, has some similarities to 'Lyrical Ballads'. Like those of its ...

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Brink by Jill Jones & Passage by Kate Middleton

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January–February 2018, no. 398

The poetic epigraphs that introduce all three sections in Brink, Jill Jones’s tenth full-length poetry collection, are collaged fragments from the poems proper. Moodily, they skirt the edges of what’s to come: ‘I am to proliferate.’ The poems then, in all their multiplicity, evoke and explore being on the brink – of knowing, feeling ...

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Plenty of novelists begin life as poets. Few, though, have managed to maintain their status as poet–novelists quite so impressively as David Malouf. But even Malouf, in his ‘middle period’, more or less dropped poetry for his ‘big’ novels ...

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Alan Wearne’s work over the past thirty years or so – dense, demanding, unique, rewarding – is like the oeuvre of a cinematic auteur: one that never quite got onto the syllabus, or brought out the crowds at Cinémathèque. Technique above all, most of the time, but allied with real if unfamiliar emotion, even if the narrative needed the reader to have the right ...

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When W.H. Auden took the cue for his poem ‘Musée des Beaux Arts’ from Brueghel’s Fall of Icarus, he did not presume the reader’s knowledge of the iconography of the painting but rather sprang open its central and universal theme, which touches all our lives: how ‘dreadful martyrdom must run its course’. It is easy to think our lurid times are perhaps ...

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Thea Astley had a way with words. Her novels are studded with arresting metaphors, atrocious puns, hilarious one-liners, arcane words, technical terms from music, geometry and logic, religious and literary allusions. Her verbal pyrotechnics can be dazzling and infuriating, in equal measure: as Helen Garner once wrote, it is ...

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Bold shades of autumn leaf – or blazing embers’ light,
bright to extinguished, as if fires set
in hearths huddled closely in the dirt were offset
by pallid oceans with their artificial light.
Are the colours fire-signals to a planetary eye
that, like Atlas, feels the weight of earth,

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Having comprehensively disposed of that chestnut,
shoved it on a skip,
I have more questions to put to you than the Socratic
in our grocer.
First, I want you to step out of those non sequiturs, comely
though they are.

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