Poetry Shelf noticeboard: 2021Kathleen Grattan Prize announcement

2021 Kathleen Grattan Prize announcement

International Writers’ Workshop NZ Inc (IWW) is delighted to announce that renowned New Zealand poet Vana Manasiadis, will judge The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems later this year. The official announcement was made at IWW’s annual Mid-Winter lunch in Northcote yesterday.

Vana Manasiadis is a New Zealand-Greek writer, translator and creative writing teacher whose collection of poetry The Grief Almanac: A Sequel was launched in May 2019. Along with Behrouz Boochani Vana is a 2021 Ursula Bethell Writer-in-Residence at Te Whare Wānaga o Waitaha Canterbury University.

The prize of $1,000 – which is made possible due to an ongoing bequest from the Jocelyn Grattan Charitable Trust – is for a cycle or sequence of unpublished poems that has a common link or theme. This is the thirteenth year IWW has had the honour of organising the Prize.

In 2020, the prize was won by Wanaka poet Liz Breslin for her sequence titled: In Bed with the Feminists.  

The competition is free for IWW members to enter.  It is very easy for aspiring poets and writers to join IWW to be eligible to enter their poetry in the competition.

Previous winners over the past few years include: Liz Breslin (2020) Siobhan Harvey (2019) Heather Bauchop (2018), Janet Newman (2017), Michael Giacon (2016) Maris O’Rourke (2015) and Julie Ryan (2014.)

Manasiadis said: “The prize is so important to the country’s literary landscape, and I am very honoured to be judging this year’s competition. I can’t wait to spend time with the talents of the 2021 entries – and I hope there will be many of them!”

President of IWW, Duncan Perkinson said: “As a writing group, we are proud to organise The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems and we are thrilled to have Vana judge this year’s competition. Both of the two previous winners (Liz Breslin in 2020 and Siobhan Harvey in 2019) have used the prize as a springboard to launch their books – In Bed with the Feminists and Ghosts – with both having been released in the past couple of months.”

About the Judge

Born in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, Vana Manasiadis has been moving between Aotearoa New Zealand and Europe the last 25 years. Her poetry experiments with hybridity and code-switching and has been translated into Greek and Italian, and she has edited and translated from the Greek for Shipwrecks/Shelters, a selection of contemporary Greek poetry. In 2018 she co-edited Tātai Whetū: Seven Māori Women Poets in Translation with Maraea Rakuraku.

Preparatory Workshop

As well as judging the competition, Manasiadis will conduct a workshop on Writing Poetry at IWW’s meeting venue, the Lindisfarne Room at St Aidan’s Church, 97 Onewa Road, Northcote, Auckland on Tuesday August 17th. Doors open at 10 am and the workshop runs from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm. While visitors are welcome to attend the workshop for a $10 visitor fee, potential entrants must have joined IWW before July 20th in order to enter the competition.

About the Competition and about IWW

The rules for the competition, details of how to join IWW, meeting times and other activities of the workshop, which meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month from February to November and runs several competitions a year, are available from the IWW website: iww.co.nz.

Key Dates for The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems in 2021

20 July: Last day for new members to join IWW to be eligible to enter this year’s Prize.

17 August: Workshop with Vana Manasiadis on writing poetry.

5 October: Closing date for entries.

16 November: Announcement of the 2021 winner of The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems.


For further information about the Prize or about IWW, contact Duncan Perkinson, email iww-writers@outlook.com or check out the website

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