First prize of $500 in the fifth annual Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize for 2015 has been won by Dunedin poet Sue Wootton, for her poem ‘Luthier’. Second prize ($250) was awarded to Jessica le Bas, of Nelson, for ‘Four Photographs from a Window’.
Alexandra poet Michael Harlow, who judged the competition, said in his report that ‘Luthier’ was ‘a poem alive in its language’ and ‘a fine pleasure to read aloud’; and he described the second-prize-winning poem as ‘a poem of celebration, accurate to its truth-telling’.
Michael Harlow listed six further entries as highly-commended. The poets are Carolyn McCurdie (Dunedin), Jillian Sullivan (Omakau), Michael Morrissey (Auckland), Karen Zelas (Christchurch), and Pat White (Fairlie).
Around two hundred entries are received each year for the Caselberg Trust International Poetry Competition, from writers working in a number of different countries. Entries are judged ‘blind’, with the judge being completely unaware of the poets’ identities until after the final decisions have been made.
The prize-winning poems and the judge’s report will be published in the May issue of Landfall, and along with the highly commended poems, will be posted on the Caselberg Trust web-site after publication of the journal. Awards will be presented at a function at the University Bookshop Dunedin on Thursday 9 April.