Australian Catholic University (ACU) Prize for Poetry

Entries for the 2017 Australian Catholic University (ACU) Prize for Poetry are now welcome, with writers competing for the coveted $10,000 first prize.

The ACU Prize for Poetry will be awarded for outstanding poetry with the theme ‘Joy’, and will be presented on Thursday 31 August in Melbourne.

Celebrated Australian poet Professor Chris Wallace-Crabbe AM will judge the prize.

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 have earned award recognition across seven decades, including the 1992 Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Poetry Award, The Age 1995 Book of the Year, and ultimately becoming a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2011.

Professor Wallace-Crabbe helped shape the face of poetry and Australian culture, founding the Australia Centre at the University of Melbourne, where he serves as an Emeritus Professor, along with his time as the chair of Australian Poetry.

The Prize’s sponsor, ACU’s Director of Identity and Mission, Fr Anthony Casamento, reflecting on this year’s theme commented:

“At a time of uncertainty across the world, now, as much as any time in the past, we need to be joy-filled people. Poetry is a powerful medium for reflecting on how joy can be manifested, or how its absence can be damaging.”

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.

How to enter:

Australian residents, including any international student currently studying at an Australian university, are eligible to enter.

Entered poems must be unpublished (including on any website or blog), must not have won any other competition, and must not be under consideration by any publisher, literary journal or for any other prize.

Entries will be open between Monday 3 April and Monday 3 July. The shortlisted, commended and winning poems will be announced on Thursday 31 August.

Enquiries can be made to: [email protected]. Further information can be found at

Get involved on social media using the hashtag #ACUpoetry

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