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Advances - March 2024

March 2024, no. 462

Advances - March 2024

March 2024, no. 462

Peter Porter Poetry Prize

Dan Hogan has won the twentieth Peter Porter Poetry Prize. Dan, who was chosen from an international field of 1,066 entries, received the prize (worth $6,000) at an online ceremony on 23 January, where the other four shortlisted poets – Judith Nangala Crispin, Natalie Damjanovich-Napoleon, Meredi Ortega, and Dženana Vucik – also read their poems.

Our judges – Lachlan Brown, Dan Disney, Felicity Plunkett – had this to say about the winning poem, ‘Workarounds’, in their official report, which is available online (as is a podcast of all five poets reading their poems):

‘Workarounds’ remains a stunning critique of the so-called 4th Industrial Revolution, in a lexicon that could (almost) be the gibberish of a pre-ChatGPT machine attempting to replicate human thought … but not quite. Amid apparent non sequiturs, the heroically outlandish expressiveness, the absurd sleights and puns, there are moments of challenge to those alert to the fact that this poem may be investing in social critique rather than mere post-LangPo fun. ‘Property the essential,’ the text infinitively urges, ‘the cement world is everything a unit of / productivity could want’, Hogan hefting their loaded syntax into defamiliarising lines that are hilarious and sombre, strikingly original, and braided with possibility. In an era of emerging global precarities, this intervention refuses to move quietly into the ranks of alienated labor, instead ironising the ‘refranchise[d] exquisite / doldrums’. Readers are indeed up for some kind of ‘existential kneecapping’. In a maximalist language that is taut, experimental, and has something urgent to say about the Zeitgeist, ‘Workarounds’ worries zanily, darkly, and scrupulously.

Dan Hogan, on learning of their win, told Advances:

I was surprised to bits to learn my poem had won the 2024 Peter Porter Poetry Prize. Deepest thanks to Australian Book Review, the judges, and those behind the prize. Recognising poetic daring, the Porter Prize is an important prize due to its international scope, and so it is an immense honour to join the prize’s rich lineage of poems and poets.

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