A lovely piece of news: The Summer King has been shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Prize!
The prize is awarded for a first book of poetry by an Australian author, published in the preceding two calendar years (until 1998 it was for a first book published in the preceding calendar year). And the list of past winners reads like a who’s who of Australian poetry – Jan Owen, Judith Beveridge, Alison Croggon, Jill Jones, Emma Lew …
The judges’ comments mention that
Many of the poets have published widely in magazines and a number had reached publication through a workshopping or mentoring process. A few had already won other prizes
which is possibly the greatest understatement they’ve ever written. I encourage you to google the books and investigate for yourselves. Lets just say that I am in amazing company.
But best of all were the judges’ comments:
Joanna Preston’s title poem, the first in the book, jolts the reader with its imaginativeness and dramatic power, and these qualities are apparent in all the poems that follow. A strong grasp of the actual underlies imaginative representations of both the natural world and the humanly made, generating a dramatic intensity, even in the quieter poems. This is a book of succinct, taut writing that displays a depth of imaginative thought.
As you can imagine, I’ve been grinning delightedly ever since I got the news. Roll on July and the announcement!