Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems 2014

: Janet Charman, judge, and Julie Ryan, winner of the 2014 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems

The winner of the 2014 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems, run by International Writers' Workshop NZ Inc, has been announced with the $1000 prize awarded to Julie Ryan of Orakei for her sequence, On Visiting Old Ladies.
The catalyst for Ryan’s sequence of nine poems was memories of her life in Kaitaia, where she lived from the age of 8 to the age of 18, and visiting the old ladies in the district who had stories to tell, none about fishing!
“I have met many more interesting old ladies since then," she says.
The judge this year was Janet Charman of Avondale, a well known poet and previous winner of the Kathleen Grattan Prize, since published as at the white coast by Auckland University Press. She says of this year’s winning work, “A sequence that immediately jumped out at me as intellectually chewy; fascinating; astutely and provocatively nutty; overall an entirely rewarding read.”   
She adds she was privileged to read the well structured and very high quality sequences of poems in the 2014 group of offerings for the Kathleen Grattan Prize.
Runner-up in this very strong group was Janet Newman of Levin for beach.river.always.  Newman is studying for a Masters of Creative Writing at Massey University and her poems about the conflicted relationships that exist between people and nature will form part of her MCW thesis.
About the Winner
Julie Ryan also writes as Julie Haines and published her first novel, Swimming with Big Fish, earlier this year. She can be contacted on 09 578 0498 or by email to
About the Competition
The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems has been made possible by a bequest from the Jocelyn Grattan Charitable Trust. It was a specific request of the late Jocelyn Grattan that her mother be recognised through an annual competition in recognition of her love for poetry and that the competition be for a sequence or cycle of poems with no limit on the length of the poems. It is one of two poetry competitions funded by the Trust, the other being the prestigious Kathleen Grattan Award run by the publishers of Landfall magazine.
This is the 6th year the prize has been contested. Previous winners are:
2009: Alice Hooton for America.
2010: Janet Charman for Mother won't come to us, and Rosetta Allan for Capricious Memory.
2011 Jillian Sullivan for how to live it
2012 James Norcliffe for What do you call your male parent?
2013 Belinda Diepenheim for Bittercress and Flax.

International Writers' Workshop NZ Inc (IWW) was founded in 1976 by poet Hilda B Whyte and meets twice a month from February to November at the Northcote Senior Citizens Villa in Northcote. IWW's main aim is to inspire writers by means of workshops and competitions across fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
For further information about the Prize, contact Sue Courtney, President, International Writers' Workshop NZ Inc,, email, phone (09) 426 6687. 

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