Entries for 2022 Woorilla Poetry Prize now open

The Woorilla Poetry Prize is now open for entries. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Parker McKenzie

An expression, an escape or even capturing a moment or feeling in time; Poetry can mean many different things to many different people.

The long-running Woorilla Poetry Prize has given poets — both budding and established — the opportunity to show what the written word means to them.

Writer and poets Professor Kevin Brophy, a former winner of the prize, and Alicia Sometimes will judge the entries for the 2022 poetry prize held on November 20.

Mr Brophy said he first became aware of the Woorilla Poetry Prize because he wanted his poems to be read by the poet Judith Rodriguez, who judged the competition until her passing in 2018.

“Encountering a poem I guess is a bit like encountering a person. It’s hard to describe exactly what’s going on, exactly what it is you’re encountering,” he said.

“When you encounter a person, often you don’t know until much later, what it was that attracted you, interested you or impressed you.”

Entries to the prize’s three categories are now open.

This year’s Judith Rodriquez Open Section will feature a $2000 1st prize and a $300 dollars second prize.

The Louise Rockne Youth Section, named after the prize’s co-founder, and the culturally and linguistically diverse sub-category will reward the winner with $250 and 2nd place with $100. Both are for people aged 12 to 18-years-old.

Mr Brophy said most poets “write into a vacuum or a chasm, into a crater of non-reaction.”

“It’s always amazingly miraculous to have a reaction to a poem and to actually win a prize is a bit of a dream for a poet. It doesn’t happen very often,” he said.

“It takes a bit of courage, I think, to call yourself a poet. It requires a little bit of validation and I’m always pleased when a young poet gets that kind of encouragement that a prize offers.”

Entrants for the open section will pay $15 per entry, with entrants into the two youth categories able to submit four poems for free.

The Woorilla Poetry prize was founded in 1989 by Maria Millers and Louise Rockne.

Simone King won the 2021 Judith Rodriquez Open Section with her poem Joining Planet City.

More information on the Woorilla Poetry Prize can be viewed at woorilla.org.au