Each year we honour the great Australian poet Peter Porter (1929–2010) through our poetry competition – and in the process generate much new poetry. This year we received almost 800 poems in the highly alliterative Peter Porter Poetry Prize. This is almost twice the number we received last year – a measure of the growing popularity of the Porter Prize and, one suspects, of the recent and most welcome return of poetry to the spotlight, through major anthologies, websites, residencies, and specific professorships.
Not all of the entries were specifically written for the Porter Prize, but most of them were. ABR is proud of its role in fostering so much new poetry, and committed to its broader coverage of Australian poetry through cogent reviews, occasional essays, and the inclusion of several new poems each month. Apropos which, we welcome submissions from poets, whether new or established.
Our judges this year are Judith Beveridge and David McCooey, both of whom have long reviewed for and contributed poems to the magazine. David and Judith have shortlisted five poems, all of which appear in our March issue. The shortlisted poets are Anne Elvey, Michael Farrell, Toby Finch, Gareth Robinson, Gareth Robinson, and Annamaria Weldon.
Toby Fitch’s long and wonderfully dry typographical poem ‘Oscillations’ posed some challenges when we designed the March issue. I hope you like the way we’ve presented it.
We look forward to naming the winner in the April issue. He or she will receive $4000. And rest assured, the Porter Prize will be on again later this year.
Australian Book Review