Sorry about the delay in approving comments for the last Tuesday Poem. I was in Sydney.
Yep, The Summer King won the Mary Gilmore Prize for Poetry!
The award was presented at the opening of the 2010 ASAL Conference, at my alma mater, the University of New South Wales. Actually the links to my dim and distant past were even stronger than that. It was held in the same theatre where I had graduated with my BA many years earlier. And even more oddly, one of the two organisers, Dr Brigitta Olubas, had been my tutor in first-year English …
There were three other awards being presented. First was the AD Hope Prize (I can’t remember the name of the guy who won – sorry!) for the paper judged to be the best paper delivered by a postgraduate student at the previous conference. Next was the Magarey Medal for Biography, which went to Jill Rose for her biography Stella Miles Franklin. And the final official award of the evening was the ALS Gold Medal, which went to David Malouf for his new novel, Ransom.
I’m still over the moon about it. The chief judge, Denis Haskell, said all sorts of wonderfully complimentary things about the book, which have blended in my brain into a sort of delighted blur. Quite apart from the pleasure of hearing praise, it was so satisfying to hear him pick out things that I thought were strengths, and to comment on most (if not all) of the little bits that I’d woven through. To know that the judges had really got what I’d tried to do.
I know I’m probably not making a lot of sense here (see ‘happy blur’, above), so just tick the boxes marked ‘joy’, ‘jubilation’, ‘satisfaction’, ‘relief’ and ‘supercalafragilisticexpialadocious’.