Join us here for the prize ceremony

The University of Newcastle, the judges and Hunter Writers Centre announce the finalists in the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize

You are invited to the 37th Newcastle Poetry Prize Ceremony,

8th floor, NeW Space, Hunter St, Newcastle

Saturday 20th October from 2pm

Join the poetry workshop in the morning then for drinks and canapés from 2pm for the prize ceremony and live reading by some of the poets whose work is featured in the anthology.

Enjoy the magnificent view, support Australia’s finest poets and have a relaxing afternoon.

Who will win the $15 000 first prize? The $5 000 second prize? The Harri Jones prize for a poem by a poet under 36 years? And much more…

Congratulations to the finalists who will be published in the 2018 Anthology

Here is the list in alpha order by poem:


Adam Gibson A disco in the bush NSW
Joan Fleming A Poem Containing Violence VIC
Damen O’Brien A Survey of Australia’s Religions QLD
John Watson Box Brownie Album NSW
Darby Hudson Broken Door VIC
Ross Gillett Buying Online VIC
Kerrie Nelson Desert flaneurs ACT
Vidhya Karnamadakala Driver NSW
Sarah Holland-Batt Equations for a Falling Body QLD
John Watson Five Replies to Miss Moore NSW
Maria Takolander Fractured States of America VIC
Mark Tredinnick Grief Wears a Body NSW
Toby Fitch King Tide NSW
Andy Jackson Operations VIC
Robert H. F. Carver Prepping for the Apocalypse UK (Aust citizen)
Guy Kelleher Secession QLD
Mark O’Flynn Shackleton’s Hut NSW
Kristen Lang The breadth of the moment TAS
Chloe Wilson The Memory of Snails VIC
Kevin Smith The Mill Road QLD
Mark Tredinnick The Reservoir NSW
Mark Tredinnick The River Running Shallow NSW
Andy Kissane The War—Then and Now NSW
Brett Dionysius The Wee-Vee QLD
Kevin Smith Thirteen Ways of Knowing My Father QLD
David Adès Tidal NSW
Joanne Ruppin Time Travelling with Baby NSW
Kristin Hannaford unmothering QLD
Peter Kirkpatrick Versities: Building X NSW
Alison Flett Wherever this is it’s where we are SA

Purchase a past anthology here

What poets say about the Newcastle Poetry Prize

Having my poem selected for publication in the Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology gave me a feeling of reassurance that I am being seen and heard by my peers. Poetry can sometimes be an undervalued and misunderstood genre - the more people who care about promoting it, the more it blossoms. Hunter Writers Centre and the University of Newcastle are doing an amazing job at giving poetry in Australia the spotlight it deserves.

Lucy Williams2017 Newcastle Poetry Prize Winner

It has been my pleasure and privilege to be involved with the Newcastle Poetry Prize over the years in different ways, as a judge, as a sometimes prize winner and as a poet within the pages of various anthologies. The first time I was published as a result of the competition was in 1995. I will never forget the joy and awe I felt finding my little poem surrounded by the poems of Australia’s finest poets. That feeling of wonder and gratitude has not left me, and I am thrilled at winning a prize in this important competition in 2016 and being represented in the current anthology.

Judy Johnson

Significant prizes such as the NPP, with its long history, are of critical value, less for the money they offer than for the way they bring poetry to public attention, and as a filter of quality. The fact that this competition can attract judges of the stature of those for this year´s prize indicates that the Newcastle is one of the nation´s most important, and that the University of Newcastle is a leader in maintaining its support for it.

Rod Usher

The Newcastle Poetry Prize, co-ordinated by Hunter Writers Centre, is the jewel every poet would love to claim.

Jean Kent, Poet

It is my impression that the Newcastle Poetry Prize is still widely regarded as the most important poetry prize in Australia. I certainly think of it in this way.

Brook Emery1999 Newcastle Poetry Prize Winner

The crucial thing about the Newcastle is the encouragement it gives to the writing of long poems. To my knowledge it is the only poetry prize in Australia that allows for the submission of unpublished poems longer than 100 lines. The 200 line limit allows a poet to stretch out, to explore at length the possibilities of a narrative or meditative sequence, a dramatic monologue (or dialogue for that matter) or any other exploratory poetic mode. The publication of the prize anthology offers a rare opportunity for high quality longer form poems to be published, and the recognition of the winning poems by the granting of significant monetary prizes does a lot to reinforce the professional status of poetry as an art form capable of producing sustained original work.

Ross Gillett
Nathan Curnow Sarah Day

2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize Judges

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We are thrilled to have poet Nathan Curnow as one of our judges of the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize judges. Nathan is based in Ballarat, Victoria, and is a past editor of Going Down Swinging. He was published in the 2011 Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology and his published books include The…
Lucy Williams

Newcastle Poetry Prize Winners 2017

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First prize: $15 000 Lucy Williams the crows in town Second prize: $5,000 Shari Kocher Forty Desert Days and Nights and White Third prize: $1,000 Judith Beveridge Suddhodana Commended Awards: Debi Hamilton Sleeping Beauty Lessons Local Award: Kit Kelen a field guide to Australian clouds (prolegomenon) Harri Jones Memorial Prize (for…
Hunter Writers Centre co-ordinates the Newcastle Poetry Prize and is proudly supported by