Sydney-based poet Mark Tredinnick has won the 2016 ACU Poetry Prize for his piece The Horse.
The winner of the $7,000 first prize was announced at Australian Catholic University’s Melbourne Campus.
Tredinnick’s poem was selected ahead of Kenneth by Canberra’s Lesley Lebkowicz ($2,000 second prize), and NSW Central Coast poet Charlotte Clutterbuck’s Visitation ($1,000 third prize).
A celebrated poet and author, Tredinnick has produced award-winning work recognised both in Australia and abroad, taking out the 2011 Montreal International Poetry Prize and 2012 Cardiff International Poetry Prize to go with the 2011 Western Australian Premier’s Book Award (poetry) and 2010 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards (nonfiction).
The Sydney-based writer has enjoyed previous success in the ACU Poetry Prize, claiming second place in the 2013 competition for his piece Light Years.
Commenting on Tredinnick’s win, prominent Australian poet and judge of this year’s prize Professor Chris Wallace-Crabbe AM said Tredinnick’s work stood out among the more than 200 entries.
“Mark Tredinnick’s The Horse exalts or hymns the love between a father and his daughter in the simplest, direct Anglo-Saxon diction,” Professor Wallace-Crabbe said.
“Ignoring all postmodern irony, it takes up the horse as humans’ dear companion, creating what can only be called a love poem. Its core gesture or gift is this: All you ever wanted, a horse that will not/ Run, an answer more tender than time.”
Regarded as one of Australia’s most prolific and finest poets, Professor Wallace-Crabbe has published works spanning more than 60 years, dating back to 1955’s No Glass Houses. His talents would see him earn award recognition across seven decades, including the 1992 Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Poetry Award, The Age 1995 Book of the Year, and in 2011 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Sponsored by ACU’s Directorate of Identity and Mission, the 2016 competition entries followed the theme of ‘Loving Kindness’.
Director of Identity and Mission Fr Anthony Casamento said the calibre of entrants and quality of work is further proof of the prize’s growing reputation in the literary community.
“The sheer quality of the entries we have seen for this year’s prize means we are witnessing the ACU Poetry Prize mature into the pre-eminent award for poetry in Australia,” Fr Anthony said.
“To see the writers embrace the theme of ‘Loving Kindness’ in their words to produce truly uplifting and insightful poems shines a light on the importance of nurturing kindness in a time of conflict across the world.”
The ACU Prize for Poetry aims to support writers and to continue the tradition of the Catholic Church as a key patron of the arts.
Learn more about the ACU Poetry Prize.