Friday, November 27, 2015

The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems 2015

The winner of the 2015 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems, run by International Writers' Workshop NZ Inc, has been announced with the $1000 prize awarded to Maris O’Rourke of Mt Eden for her small but perfectly formed sequence, Motherings.
Maris is a former international education consultant who reinvented herself as a writer in 2008. She had her first poetry collection Singing with Both Throats published in 2013 and has three picture books published in her Lillibutt series with illustrations by Claudia Pond Eyley. She is currently studying for a Masters of Creative Writing at AUT. She can be contacted for interviews by email to
Rosetta Allan of Auckland, author and poet and previous winner of the Kathleen Grattan Prize, was the judge this year. She describes the winning sequence as, “Tales of connection and love that successfully avoid the abstraction of the language of love.”  She adds, “I was in awe from the get-go of the gentle consistency, and immediacy of the imagery that went straight for the heart.”
Sue Wootton of Dunedin was Highly Commended for Typewriter Songs
Gay Johnson was awarded the inaugural Emerging Poet Award for The Sound of Bells or Trumpets. This award is for an IWW member of at least three years who has not had poetry published previously. Gay’s prize is an in-depth critique of her sequence.
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 7th year the prize has been contested. Previous winners are:
2014: Julie Ryan for On Visiting Old Ladies.
2013: Belinda Diepenheim for Bittercress and Flax.
2012: James Norcliffe for What do you call your male parent?
2011: Jillian Sullivan for how to live it
2010: Janet Charman for Mother won't come to us, and Rosetta Allan for Capricious Memory.
2009: Alice Hooton for America.

International Writers' Workshop NZ Inc (IWW) was founded in 1976 by  Barbara B Whyte, a noted poet and writer of her time.  The group meets twice a month from February to November 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 Carolyn Smith Masefield, President, International Writers' Workshop NZ Inc,, email, phone (09) 629 3735.
Photo Caption: Rosetta Allan, judge, and Maris O’Rourke, winner of the 2015 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems.

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