Tag Archives | Poetry

The 2017 Venie Prize Winners

Firstly, thank you to the 141 entrants in the 2017 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. Each and every poem that was entered was a pleasure to read. A big thank you also goes to Fiona Hile + Ross Gillett for judging the Prize and for coming along to Sunday’s Words in Winter event where the winners + shortlist were announced.

Without further ado, we are thrilled to announce this year’s winning poems:

Co-winners
Michael Farrell, Melbourne, Vic: Hamlet in the Mind of a School Teacher
Mark Miller, Shoalhaven Heads, NSW: Journey, the South Coast

Highly Commended
Brian Purcell, Green Point, NSW: Painting Trees at Valla
Stuart Barnes, The Range, QLD: Black Swan Polyptych
Geraldine Burrowes, Melbourne, Vic: How We Get Through  Accidentally
Jeff Guess, Gawler, SA: Transgression of the Trees

Packing Room Prize (as chosen by the Holmgren Design office staff)
Gary Smith, Melbourne: Death of a Gardener

Thank you to Juanita from Broderick Photography for capturing the spirit of Sunday’s event so eloquently:

David Holmgren announces the winning poems

Fiona Hile discusses why Michael Farrell’s poem was selected

Ross Gillett discusses and reads Mark Miller’s poem

David congratulates Michael Farrell

Michael Farrell reads his winning entry

David congratulates Brian Purcell

Brian Purcell shows his painting his poem was based on

Brian Purcell reads his shortlisted poem

David congratulates Geraldine Burrowes

Geraldine Burrowes reads her highly commended poem

Su Dennett reads Gary Smith’s ‘Packing Room’ poem

If you’d like to find out when the 2018 Venie Prize is announced, please subscribe to our very infrequent email newsletter or like us on Facebook.

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The 2017 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the 2017 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. The specifics are as follows:

Major prize: AUD$1000

All entries must be received by 11.59 pm EST, Friday July 14 2017.
The shortlist and winner will be announced during the Daylesford Words in Winter festival, August 4-6, 2017.
The judges for the 2017 competition are Ross Gillett and Fiona Hile.

Entry terms and conditions

1. Entrants must be citizens of Australia or New Zealand or have permanent resident status in Australia or New Zealand.
2. Poems must be unpublished (including online) and not under consideration by other publishers.
3. Poems that have won or are under consideration in other competitions are not eligible.
4. Poems must have an environmental theme.
5. All poems must be written in English.
6. The winning poems will be published on www.holmgren.com.au
7. An entry fee of $10 will be charged and is payable via bank transfer, PayPal, cash or cheque. A receipt will be sent as confirmation once the money has been received.
8. The name of the poet must not appear on the manuscript (including the header or footer) since all poems will be considered anonymously.
9. Poems must be no more than 80 lines.
10. Multiple entries are permitted, though a $10 fee applies to each poem.
11. Please ensure you are satisfied with your poem before submitting. Poems that are withdrawn and subsequently resubmitted will incur a second fee.
12. The competition closes 11.59 pm EST, Friday July 14, 2017.
13. Selection will be made by the judges. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

Please click here to submit your poem.


About the judges

Ross Gillett’s poems have appeared in The Age, The Australian and The Canberra Times and in journals in Australia and the US. His book, The Sea Factory was one of the Five Islands Press New Poets 2006 series. In 2010 he published a chapbook of old and new poems – Wundawax and other poems – with Mark Time Books. His awards for poetry include the Robert Harris Poetry Prize, the Broadway Poetry Prize, the FAW John Shaw Neilson Award (twice), the Melbourne Poet’s Union National Poetry Prize, the Reason-Brisbane Poetry Prize, the City of Greater Dandenong National Poetry Prize and the Woorilla Poetry Prize. He has been twice shortlisted for the Blake Poetry Prize and was awarded second place in the 2016 Newcastle Poetry prize. Ross lives in Daylesford where he works as a project manager for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Fiona Hile’s first full-length collection, Novelties, was awarded the 2014 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry. In 2012 she won the Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize and was awarded second place in the Overland 2012 Judith Wright Poetry Prize. Her poems have been published in journals, newspapers and anthologies in Australia, Canada, UK, US, Prague and The Netherlands. Her second book of poems, Subtraction, will be published in 2017.


About Venievenie

In her late 50’s Venie Holmgren began to write poetry and her first published anthology, The Sun Collection for the Planet in 1989, became a poetry ‘best seller’. At the same time, she applied her environmental activist skills and commitment to the campaign to save native forests near her home on the far south coast of NSW, where she was arrested twice for obstructing log trucks. After 16 years of solo self-reliant living she moved to the local town of Pambula where she penned her travel memoir, several more books of poetry and travelled widely as a performance poet. In 2010 Venie moved to Hepburn where she wrote her last poetry collection, The Tea-house Poems. In January 2016, Venie “caught the bus” at the age of 93 .

You can read more of Venie’s life here:
www.theguardian.com/books/australia-books-blog/2015/mar/25/in-praise-of-venie-holmgren-at-92-still-an-activist-adventurer-and-a-poet


Please click here to submit your poem.

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Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize winner announced

Congratulations to all the entrants of the inaugural Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. Thank you to all the poets who took the time to submit an entry. Venie would have loved to have sat with us here in the office and to have read the poems as they came in from all across the country, 115 of them.

Without further ado, we would like to announce the winner of the 2016 Prize:

Lynn Sunderland from Trentham, Vic., for her poem
How to Write an Environmental Poem

 

Highly commended were:

Elizabeth Gleeson for the poem Hygrocybe at the Market

and

Frances Paterson for Sonnet to Three Gumnuts

 

Thank you to judges Richard Perry and Bronwyn Blaiclock for undertaking the difficult challenge of selecting a single winner. At the Words in Winter prize presentation, Richard read out a statement on behalf of the judges, which you can read here.

We were fortunate that Lynn was able to come along to the event and read her poem.

Lynnereads

We are thrilled to present to you, in its entirety, Lynn Sunderland’s award winning poem:

How to Write an Environmental Poem

We begin with a framework strong enough

To hold in its hands this planet’s poem:

A scaffolding blunt as the flint hearted mountains

And supple as green boughs twisted toward water

That it may bear in its sinews and its soul

The very weight of your dreaming

 

And your poem must sing with a cadence sweet as birdsong

Yet cruel as the iron ring of axe blade against heartwood

For its voice must be as true and as complicated

As the keening cry of gulls above a grey sweep of ocean

Or the numbing drum of rain, hour upon hour

And every time it draws breath

We must hear the silences, too,

Of those who cannot speak

 

And it may rhyme grandly

Like the broad and stately sail of a whale’s tail

Or whimsically as greenies in beanies

Or sadly as the breath of death itself

 

But within the footfall of its rhyme

There will always be a dissonance

Plaintive as river water weeping over pebbles

Raw as the rattle of a wintry drift of hail

Or pure as wind chimes

Netting the North wind’s lonely voice

 

It must sing with a rhythm all its own

A song as old as the steady drip of glaciers

As slow as the rasp of the tide’s mouth

On a million, million grains of sand

As dependable as the lurch and heft of the sun

 

And it must be sensual in its seasons

Licked by the wet tongues of calving beasts

Rolled in the honeyed hum

Of a hundred drowsing bees

Sated by a sickly surfeit of summer’s indolent heat

 

And this poem must have height and depth to colour it in:

Be bold in your dreaming, and build it

Grand as the icy glitter of a starlit night

Broad as a prairie blown to gold in autumn

Triumphant in its song, even when

Wracked by ocean currents cold enough

And deep enough to drown a continent

 

And yet you must not fail to nourish

Even the most insignificant of its sorrows

The unnamed extinctions gone to dust

The drift of time

The silence of bones

The infinitely lost promise

Of a single seedling

 

Its metaphors, of course,

Must be extravagant and reckless

And here you have much to work with …

The churn of storm clouds sketching their threat

Like smoke through milk in a winter sky

The ashen pallor of a bushfire’s wake

Or the way a forest leans together at the last,

Mourners at the funeral pyre

Of a whole planet stumbling into oblivion,

Its oil soaked wings folded mutely in surrender

 

Write your poem, then,

In ink red as the fox’s bloodied paws

With a gaze unblinking as an owl’s nightblack eye

 

And when it is made

Wheel it out into the light of this day’s dawn

And set it where the first fingers of morning

Might touch and probe and wonder…

 

But beware

 

For your contraption of caesura and sonnet

Your artifice of syllable and sound

Will in the end be nothing

 

To the tragedy and beauty of a single moment

 

On this planet, Earth.

 

 

——————

 

 

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Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the inaugural Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. The specifics are as follows:

Major prize: AUD$1000

All entries must be received by 11.59 pm EST, Friday July 15 2016.
The shortlist and winner will be announced during the Daylesford Words in Winter festival, August 5-7, 2016 2016.
The judges for the 2016 competition are Richard Perry and Bronwyn Blaiklock.

Entry terms and conditions

1. Entrants must be citizens of Australia or New Zealand or have permanent resident status in Australia or New Zealand.
2. Poems must be unpublished (including online) and not under consideration by other publishers.
3. Poems that have won or are under consideration in other competitions are not eligible.
4. Poems must have an environmental theme.
5. All poems must be written in English.
6. The winning poems will be published on www.holmgren.com.au
7. An entry fee of $10 will be charged and is payable via bank transfer, PayPal, cash or cheque. A receipt will be sent as confirmation once the money has been received.
8. The name of the poet must not appear on the manuscript (including the header or footer) since all poems will be considered anonymously.
9. Poems must be no more than 80 lines.
10. Multiple entries are permitted, though a $10 fee applies to each poem.
11. Please ensure you are satisfied with your poem before submitting. Poems that are withdrawn and subsequently resubmitted will incur a second fee.
12. The competition closes 11.59 pm EST, Friday July 15, 2016.
13. Selection will be made by the judges. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

Please click here for submission details.


About the judges

Richard Perry, a Hepburn Shire resident, is emeritus professor of Asian art history at York University, Toronto, a former teacher at the Victorian College of the Arts, and has served as editor and writer for numerous journals in the U.S. and Canada.

Bronwyn Blaiklock, a resident of Ballarat, has been active in the arts and music education industries for 20 years across three states as artistic director, performer (piano, piano accordion), writer, arts administrator, adjudicator and educator. Founder of the Pure Poetry project, Bronwyn facilitates the creative development of new collaborative performance works by emerging and established writers and composers. Her poetry has been anthologised in numerous Australian publications, and her first collection, Etching My Initials, was published in 2016 by Melbourne Poets Union as #23 in the Union Poets Chapbook Series. Bronwyn has contributed to state-wide literary initiatives through membership on the Board of Writers Victoria (2009-2014).


About Venievenie

In her late 50’s Venie Holmgren began to write poetry and her first published anthology, The Sun Collection for the Planet in 1989, became a poetry ‘best seller’. At the same time, she applied her environmental activist skills and commitment to the campaign to save native forests near her home on the far south coast of NSW, where she was arrested twice for obstructing log trucks. After 16 years of solo self-reliant living she moved to the local town of Pambula where she penned her travel memoir, several more books of poetry and travelled widely as a performance poet. In 2010 Venie moved to Hepburn where she wrote her last poetry collection, The Tea-house Poems. In January 2016, Venie “caught the bus” at the age of 93 .

You can read more of Venie’s life here:
www.theguardian.com/books/australia-books-blog/2015/mar/25/in-praise-of-venie-holmgren-at-92-still-an-activist-adventurer-and-a-poet

 

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