ACU Prize for Poetry

Poetry Prize 2016 banner


The 2016 ACU Prize for Poetry aims to support writers and to continue the tradition of the Catholic Church as a key patron of the arts. Following the success of the Prize in previous years, the ACU Prize for Poetry will be awarded for outstanding poetry with the theme LOVING KINDNESS.

“Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer

At a time of conflict across the world, now, as much as any time in the past, we need to nurture kindness to others. Poetry is a powerful medium for reflecting on how loving kindness can be manifested, or how its absence can be damaging. As Roger Housden has written:

… poetry has the power to start a fire in a person’s life. It can alter the way we see ourselves. It can change the way we see the world. … Poetry at its best calls forth our deep being. … It is a magical art, and always has been — a making of language spells designed to open our eyes, open our doors and welcome us into a bigger world, one of possibilities we may never have dared to dream of
(Why Poetry Is Necessary - Huffington Post)

The prize is made possible through the sponsorship of the Directorate Identity & Mission at Australian Catholic University (ACU).

Prize money

First prize: $7000
Second prize: $2000
Third prize: $1000


Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Poet, distinguished academic and critic, generous contributor to literary culture, Chris Wallace-Crabbe is one of the best known figures in Australia’s literary community and also enjoys a wider reputation in the international world of letters.

He began publishing poetry while an undergraduate, producing many volumes and winning awards and prizes, including the Grace Leven Poetry Prize in 1985 for The Amorous Cannibal, the Dublin Prize for the Arts and Sciences in 1987 and the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal in 2002. His Selected Poems: 1956-1994 won both the Dinny O’Hearn Poetry Prize and the Book of the Year Award in the 1995 Age Book of the Year Awards.

In 2011 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, and last year he was awarded the prestigious Melbourne Prize for Literature in “recognition of his outstanding contribution to Australian literature and cultural and intellectual life”.

Open to all citizens or permanent residents of Australia and any international student currently studying at an Australian university may also apply.

Opening date for entries is Friday 11th March 2016
Closing date for entries is Monday 6th June 2016

Entries are now closed

Read the Poetry Prize guidelines

For more information, contact:

Carmel Yahl | Identity and Mission, ACU
Phone: +61 2 9739 2380