One of Australia’s most prized poetry awards, worth $18,000 in total value, is now open for entries in its 11th year running. The ACU Prize for Poetry is calling for new poems on the theme of “faith”, inspired by Helen Keller’s powerful quotes on the matter: ‘Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.’

The winner of the first prize will earn $10,000 and the respect of the Australian arts community. The total Prize of first, second and third is valued at $18,000. All winners will be announced at the annual Awards ceremony in Sydney on Tuesday 1 October 2024.

Emeritus Professor Margot Hillel OAM and ACU Professor of Classical Reception & Renaissance Studies and esteemed poet, Professor Robert H F Carver, will return as the Prize’s judges this year.

Emeritus Professor Hillel said many poets would agree that faith was integral to the life of a writer.

‘There is the faith needed to put pen to paper and craft your words, but also putting one’s faith in the reader to absorb your ideas and messages, and have respect for them,’ Emeritus Professor Hillel said.

‘Faith is certainly a significant theme for many poets who observe a particular religion or spiritual practice and use their poetry to explore the realities of their faith.

‘I look forward to reading the entries on faith for this year’s Prize for Poetry.’

Now in its 11th year, the ACU Prize for Poetry continues the Catholic Church’s tradition of encouraging new works of art and literature. Inspired by the Church’s longstanding tradition as a patron of the arts, the prize is sponsored by ACU’s Office of the Vice-President.

ACU Vice-President Fr Anthony Casamento csma encouraged new and younger writers to consider entering the competition this year.

‘Established more than a decade ago, the ACU Prize for Poetry is a hallmark of the Australian arts calendar, respected by new and emerging poets and writers across our nation,’ Fr Casamento said.

‘We especially encourage younger writers to enter new works to build our collection of creative and inspiring poetry.

‘I particularly want to acknowledge our faithful poets who so generously continue to impress the arts community with their skill and craft.’

Entries for the 2024 ACU Prize for Poetry opened on 2 April and will close on 2 July.

Visit the ACU Prize for Poetry website for full details on how to enter.