Dec 01, 2017 Noel Rowe Poetry Award 2017: Shortlist and Winner Noel Rowe Poetry Award 2017 Shortlist Chris Armstrong – SilageChris Brown – Hotel UniversoShey Marque – Keeper of the RitualAudrey Molloy – Envy is a DaylilyKerri Shying – Know Your CountryThom Sullivan – Carte BlancheWinner: Thom Sullivan – Carte Blanche Judges: Vivian Smith, Jane Gibian, Elizabeth Allen. ___________________________ Chris Armstrong – Silage Bio Note: Chris Armstrong's poetry has appeared in numerous Australian literary journals including Griffith Review, Cordite, Foam:e, Overland and Plumwood Mountain. Chris was runner-up in the 2015 Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets and received an ASA Emerging Writers Mentorship in 2014 for the poetry manuscript The Watershed, which was published as a chapbook in March 2017. Chris originally trained as a journalist and holds a Master of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) from UoW. Judges’ Note: Chris Armstrong’s poems take their place in a long developing line of Australian bush, nature and wilderness poems, best seen in the work of Douglas Stewart and now brought up to date by the writer’s ecological awareness. They display a remarkable precision of observation and a clear direct voice, the language immediate and forceful. Saving cod Two fishermen on the tip of tongues of rock cast lures to the river with whip and flash silver cuts the air and my wildness snaps loose in a flinging arc above the pool of secret breathing. We whistle down the chute and slide by them with a tight-lipped motion deep paddle strokes and calling the cod to follow us to ease their slow bodies beneath the cover of our boat and together we escape quietly quietly down the river. ___________________________ Chris Brown – Hotel Universo Bio Note: Chris Brown is a poet and teacher living in Newcastle. His poems have appeared in Australian journals, newspapers and anthologies. He is a past winner of the Roland Robinson Literary Award for Poetry. His chapbook "slender Volume" is forthcoming (2017) from Bulky News Press. Judges’ Note: Chris Brown’s work was one of the more experimental volumes submitted. The poems contain many literary references and some sophisticated puns and excellent word play through out. They possess a delightfully cynical knowing voice intercut with self-awareness. Dedication Dedicate tea leaves to lavender coffee dregs to geraniums filter drip in tropic light to mending potted palm come in and burn porridge edibly sweep floor fix the tap spill Bottles set dogs off race out race home catch you in bed with no one pretend nothing daily ring mum Ask foregiveness when you do write to tv that wants so much of me tell world how busy tell you everyone read breton read Breton forget milk Don’t go out now not now no leave it “go without” lift the dress lift bonnet write the poem look it up in the old pink pages dial number mark the page leave a message await reply reply ___________________________ Shey Marque – Keeper of the Ritual Bio Note: Shey Marque is an emerging poet from Perth, Western Australia, with a PhD in molecular pathology and MA in creative writing. A former medical research scientist, and literary program coordinator for The Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre, she is currently Coordinator of Hospital Poets Australia as part of The Katharine Susannah Prichard Foundation Inc., and has research interests in the impact of poetry on state positive affect in the health workforce. Her poetry has been recognised through various awards, including twice winning the KW Treanor Poetry Prize, and is published in Australian literary journals including Cordite Poetry Review, Westerly, Meanjin and Award Winning Australian Writing. Her first chapbook, Aporiac, was published with Finishing Line Press, USA, in 2016. Judges’ Note: Shey Marque’s poetry is enjoyably lyrical and musical. It demonstrates an exciting use of Spanish and South American surrealism. The poems, several of which explore creativity and the creative process, have a strong individual voice with a lilting sense of rhythm. Occasional False Memories of Black Monday (19th October 1987) pillow, duvet, nap sleep is not spoken — it’s a lure word to check if you’re awake awake to error, and prediction can be just as faulty as memory recall recall a grandmother crowned homecoming queen five decades late late is better than never, she says, after all it was the great depression depression is the stock market plummeting like a wingless plane plane crash? She does remember something falling from the sky sky is blue, morning is chilly, simply the start of another week week long a man is living inside a billboard, he waves to you you offer a pillow and for the homeless a donation of food food crops are failing in Ethiopia despite all that August rain rain won’t help Moscow’s potatoes, so they repurpose alcohol plants plants’ little straw skeletons stop the growth of tumour tumour leaves a first lady, she eats papaya, her left breast missing missing cellist Jacqueline du Pre already, she’s dying today today is still in the dark after a night of stormy weather weather man didn’t see it coming and will never live it down down spills from my newly-washed duvet split in two two trains collide in Jakarta, people left clinging to platforms platforms of oil in the Persian Gulf are set on fire by US US number one hit song from Michael Jackson is Bad bad planning loses our rain forest a world heritage status status of women’s legs rise with waistlines high on dresses dresses by Lacroix are ‘pretty, witty and gay’ says he he receives a pelting of carnations from the people people super-glue themselves to a security tower in protest protest at Pine Gap as a ten-year lease draws to a close close weave, texture, grain, shag, warp and woof, nap nap, yes, although I’m sure I heard sleep on your lips as well well one out of four words in this poem could be misleading ___________________________ Audrey Molloy – Envy is a Daylily Bio Note: Audrey Molloy was born in Dublin and grew up in Blackwater, County Wexford. She now lives in Sydney, where she works as a medical writer and editor. Her poetry has recently appeared in Australian Poetry Anthology, Orbis, Ink Sweat & Tears and Headstuff, and is forthcoming in Cordite and Overland. She was short-listed for the 2016 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year and for the 2016 Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets. Judges’ Note: Audrey Molloy’s varied and emotive collection focuses on mother-daughter relationships and skillfully explores the many dimensions of female experience and the life of the body. Along with moving poems about the ambiguous influence of institutional religion on children, the experience of depression, loss, and love, comes light-hearted satire on the trials of parenthood and growing up. The Speed of Dark I pour maple syrup into yogurt and swirl; the amber ribbon stretches, a frozen waterfall, from bottle to bowl and spirals into creamy oblivion— many centuries pass. I peg unpeg peg, three sizes of socks; they droop comatose, sailors on a penny-hang. Only my wits flap— the scene unchanged though ice caps melt. Freeze. Melt. I chop shiny apples and taut dark plums in seven-year shifts like sleeping cicadas. The blade is keen but my brain-edge dulls, needs grit to sharpen it. Just let me be while I swirl, peg, chop! Don’t rupture my flow with your turbine whine, your bicker and snot, your kicking like cornered foals. O darkness, come! On this black plain that stretches bare to all horizons like a lake at night, far behind me: three small trees twisted from earth into trunk and limb— they orient me. Days melt into their croques monsieur years fly by, thick as hungry bats but not the dark hours; the minutes stagger until sleep, when the clock swings to life like a metronome. ___________________________ Kerri Shying – Know Your Country Bio Note: I have three Roland Robinson awards and an Inclusion Award in the Hunter Region; I am disabled and run a free writing workshop with Octapod in Newcastle for writers with disability. I have some other poems accepted this year including in the Henry Kendall Poetry Award Anthology, and I was shortlisted in the Helen Ann Bell Bequest 2017 for a version of this book. I publish almost daily on the 365plus1 blogspot and have a small chapbook in the machinery with Mr Kit Kelen. I received the NSW Writers' Centre Grant for an Emerging Writer for this year. It pays for my kibble and my paper, and is a joy. I belong to the Wiradjuri people, with Chinese forbears. It gets complicated. Judges’ Note: Kerri Shying’s poems seem straightforward at first but build into a powerful and captivating whole. A vigorous exploration of the narrator’s Chinese and indigenous heritage, these poems are direct and immediate in their voice and form. These poems effectively explore the stresses of contemporary life alongside a deeper spiritual dimension. Rise waken in the warm scent of yesterday’s tea holding to the curtains woven in the winter mornings where the raising goes harder the gristle in me whinges I take the crutch of the blue sky the black and white peewits waiting at the boat ramp with the coffee and I rise ___________________________ Thom Sullivan – Carte Blanche [WINNER of the NRPA 2017-8] Bio Note: Thom Sullivan was born in 1982. He grew up on a farm in Wistow/Bugle Ranges in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia and studied Arts and Law at the University of Adelaide, and Social Science at Swinburne University, Melbourne. He had a short collection of poems, Airborne, published in New Poets 14 (Wakefield, 2009). Since then he has edited or co-edited seven published books of poetry. His poems have appeared in a range of books and journals, including The Best Australian Poems (Black Inc, 2014 & 2015), Australian Love Poems (Inkerman & Blunt), Cordite, Transnational Literature, Otoliths, Tincture, The Independent Weekly, Eureka Street and Australian Book Review (the 2016 South Australian 'States of Poetry' anthology). He lives in Adelaide, where he works in public policy. Judges’ Note: Sullivan presents a sharp collection of quietly spoken poems dealing with the complexities of human relationships in a vanishing world. The manuscript has considerable formal variety from spoken interior monologues and reflections to a series of imagistic notations. It also demonstrates a thoughtful and exciting use of punctuation and syntax. Summer Dam Long weeks, its eye crusts over, squinting hard against the noondays’ aching light – by late December, the hollow socket is plated shut by scales of yellow silt. Muzzling cattle dribble strings of hot saliva – their bellows echoing on into the haze. A mob of kangaroos hammers off across the paddock – riding the shoals of brittle grass, breasting them like waves. This poem was previously published in Eureka Street.