Australian Catholic University is putting the call out to poets from around the nation to share a glimmer of hope in a world shaken by a global pandemic, worsening natural disasters and the threat of global conflict.

The 2022 ACU Prize for Poetry is now open for all Australian residents to submit their finest works on the theme of ‘Hope’, inspired by a line from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s famous play about Robin Hood: “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…”

Entries for the $20,000 prize close on 4 July 2022.

The winners of the $10,000 first prize, second prize of $5,000, $3,000 third prize, and two $1,000 Highly Commended prizes will be announced at the ACU Prize for Poetry Awards night on 6 September in Sydney.

Australian poet MTC Cronin will return as the prize’s final judge, supported by children’s literature expert Emeritus Professor Margot Hillel OAM, and Director of the Western Civilisation Program at ACU, Professor Robert H F Carver.

Inspired by the Catholic Church’s tradition as a patron of the arts, the ACU Prize for Poetry has established itself as one of Australia’s most prized poetry awards since its inception in 2013.

The prize is made possible through the sponsorship of the Office of the Vice President at ACU.

ACU Vice-President Fr Anthony Casamento csma said the 2022 prize would give Australian poets and aspiring writers and artists an outlet for creating a sense of optimism during what many consider an unimaginable time.

‘In the last two years, Australians have been forced into living a new normal with the uncertainties of the global pandemic, bookmarked by constant upheaval in the form of floods and fires, and now the horrors of war in Ukraine,’ Fr Casamento said.

‘We open the 2022 ACU Prize for Poetry with a call for poets, writers, and artists to lift the hearts of your fellow Australians with words that permeate hope in what often seems like a hopeless time.’

More information about the ACU Prize for Poetry including how to submit a poem can be found at the ACU Prize for Poetry website.