Arts Update 2007

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Poetry in the Queensland spotlight

Poetry in the Queensland spotlight
Queensland Poetry Festival

Poetry moved into the spotlight with the recent announcement of two coveted poetry awards at the 2007 Queensland Poetry Festival (7-9 September), and the arrival of international poet Paul Durcan as this year's Arts Queensland poet in residence.

Twenty-four year-old Sarah Holland-Batt of St Lucia took out the Arts Queensland 2007 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for an Emerging Queensland Poet and Andrew Slattery, from Newcastle, won the Arts Queensland 2007 Val Vallis Award for Unpublished Poetry.

The Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, now in its fifth year, recognises emerging Queensland writers and provides the winner with a $3000 cash prize and a publishing contract with UQP.

Ms Holland-Batt was highly commended in last year's awards and the judges described her 2007 entry, Aria, as "exciting and highly poised, giving real evidence of a new and distinctive voice in Queensland poetry".

Andrew Slattery, winner of the 2007 Val Vallis Award, now in its eighth year, will receive $3000 for his poem Frameworkers.

The runners up included Jaya Savage, Simon Patton and Siall Waterbright for the Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and Dan Disney, Siall Waterbright and Stuart Cooke for Val Vallis Award.

The Poet in Residence program, funded by Arts Queensland, enables Irish poet Paul Durcan to stay in Queensland for approximately six weeks and share his work and skills with Queensland audiences.

Paul Durcan is the Irish Professor of Poetry at Trinity College, Dublin. He has received various poetry awards and his most recent collections are Cries of an Irish Caveman: New Poems (2001) and The Art of Life (2004).

Paul Durcan was a guest at the Queensland Poetry Festival and the Brisbane Writers Festival (12-16 September) and will present readings in Rockhampton, Longreach and Maleny in late September.

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