The Summer King gets shortlisted!

A lovely piece of news: The Summer King has been shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Prize!

The prize is awarded for a first book of poetry by an Australian author, published in the preceding two calendar years (until 1998 it was for a first book published in the preceding calendar year). And the list of past winners reads like a who’s who of Australian poetry – Jan Owen, Judith Beveridge, Alison Croggon, Jill Jones, Emma Lew …

I have to say that the shortlist is pretty impressive too – Emma Jones (who I’ve blogged about before) for The Striped World, Emily Ballou for The Darwin Poems, and Sarah Holland-Batt for Aria.

The judges’ comments mention that

Many of the poets have published widely in magazines and a number had reached publication through a workshopping or mentoring process. A few had already won other prizes

which is possibly the greatest understatement they’ve ever written. I encourage you to google the books and investigate for yourselves. Lets just say that I am in amazing company.

But best of all were the judges’ comments:

Joanna Preston’s title poem, the first in the book, jolts the reader with its imaginativeness and dramatic power, and these qualities are apparent in all the poems that follow. A strong grasp of the actual underlies imaginative representations of both the natural world and the humanly made, generating a dramatic intensity, even in the quieter poems. This is a book of succinct, taut writing that displays a depth of imaginative thought.

As you can imagine, I’ve been grinning delightedly ever since I got the news. Roll on July and the announcement!

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15 thoughts on “The Summer King gets shortlisted!

    • Thank you! It is a gorgeous, isn’t it? I know it shouldn’t matter, but oh, I was so thrilled when I saw the final design. Sarah Maxey did a beautiful job. Hopefully it’ll win her some book design awards – it should!

  1. Congratulations!
    Interesting that you are now “an Australian poet”. Presumably you qualify for the New Zealand poetry awards as well. Obviously for the best chance of prizes, one should live for five years or so in each of a number of countries. (Do you qualify as a British poet as well?) 🙂

    • I’ve always been an Australian poet, as well as a New Zealand poet. I’m a permanent resident on NZ, but still an Aussie citizen. But no, I don’t manage to tick the UK boxes any more …

  2. Joanna – From the moment I read the title poem of ‘The Summer King’ I was a convert, a fawning fan, a gormless groupie. Congratulations on being shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Prize. May your star continue in its ascendancy! Thank you for all the ways you promote quality poetry. You are an inspiration. – Greg =)

  3. Jo, this is fabulus news–I am absolutely delighted for you, the more so since I concur with the judges’ shortlisting comments in every respect.

  4. Congratulations Joanna, that’s really very exciting news! You must feel like you’ve already won something enormous by being shortlisted.

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