Nicholas Wong is the winner of the 2018 Peter Porter Poetry Prize, now worth a total of $8,500. This is Australia’s premier prize for an original poem. Louis Klee, the 2017 winner, made the announcement at a special event at fortyfivedownstairs on Monday, 19 March. Nicholas Wong, who flew from Hong Kong to attend the Porter ceremony, receives $5,000.
His winning poem is titled ‘101, Taipei’.
This year’s judges – John Hawke, Bill Manhire, Jen Webb – shortlisted poems by five poets – Eileen Chong, Katherine Healy, LK Holt, Tracey Slaughter, and Nicholas Wong. They were chosen from a record field of almost 1,000 poems. Tracey Slaughter’s poem ‘breather’ was placed second. She receives $2,000 – the other three shortlisted poets $500 each.
Nicholas Wong, on winning the Prize, said: ‘I’m honoured and humbled to be the winner, especially with a poem whose subject matter may seem foreign. Winning the Porter Prize also allows me to reach out to Australian readers.’
John Hawke – chair of the judging panel and Poetry Editor of ABR – commented: ‘Nicholas Wong’s “101, Taipei” is a powerful representation of urban dislocation, which cuts across cultures and languages in its swerving indirections and switches in style and syntax.’
Peter Rose – Editor of Australian Book Review – commented: ‘We’re delighted that Nicholas Wong, with his superb poem, becomes the first Asian to win one of ABR’s three literary prizes. This is good for world poets and the Porter Prize, and is a measure of greater awareness of ABR overseas.’
About Nicholas Wong
Nicholas Wong is the author of Crevasse (Kaya Press, 2015), winner of the Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry. He is also the recipient of the Hong Kong Young Artist Award in Literary Arts in 2017. Wong has contributed writing to the radio composition project ‘One of the Two Stories, Or Both’ at Manchester International Festival 2017, and the final exhibition of Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative at Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum, which will open in May 2018. He is the Vice President of PEN Hong Kong, and teaches atthe Education University of Hong Kong.
The Peter Porter Poetry Prize is one of Australia’s most prestigious poetry awards. For more information about the Peter Porter Poetry Prize or to read the 2018 shortlisted poems please visit the ABR website.
Nicholas Wong's winning poem is published in the March 2018 issue of ABR.
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ABR gratefully acknowledges the support of Ms Morag Fraser AM and Mr Ivan Durrant.