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    Minister for Education and the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    QLD POETS TAKE OUT TOP POETRY AWARDS AT FESTIVAL LAUNCH

    Minister for Education and the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Friday, August 25, 2006

    QLD POETS TAKE OUT TOP POETRY AWARDS AT FESTIVAL LAUNCH

    Two south-east Queensland poets have taken out coveted poetry awards at the launch of the 2006 Queensland Poetry Festival (25-27 August) tonight.

    Angela Gardner, from West End, won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and Nathan Shepherdson, from the Glass House Mountains, won the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award for Unpublished Poetry.

    Arts Minister, Rod Welford, said the awards supported emerging poets and celebrated the diversity of poetry as an artform.

    “The winning entries in the awards were outstanding and highlight the talent of emerging Queensland poets,” Mr Welford said.

    “Entries were received from around Australia for this year’s awards. Both winners receive $3000 and Ms Gardner will have her manuscript published.

    “Mr Shepherdson, who won the Thomas Shapcott Award last year, will also launch his winning manuscript from last year, Sweeping the light back into the mirror.

    The work, now published, will be launched tomorrow (Saturday 26 August) as part of the festival taking place at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts (JWCOCA).

    Mr Welford said the Queensland Poetry Festival, now in its 10th year, was recognised worldwide as a major literary event.

    “The event presents the work of local, national and international poets, showcasing the depth of talent in the contemporary poetry scene,” he said. “It also provides a forum for artists to collaborate and produce works that push the boundaries of poetry.”

    Special guests include performers Dave Graney and Clare Moore; Marc Kelly Smith, founder of Poetry Slam, an event in which poets perform and compete; New Zealand poet Hinemoana Baker; the JWCOCA’s Poet-in-Residence Louise Wallwein; and Australian poets and writers Amelia Walker, Alicia Sometimes and Peter Minter.

    This year’s program also includes eight outreach events on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Warwick and in locations around Brisbane.

    A full list of winners follows.

    For further information and a Queensland Poetry Festival program, visit www.queenslandpoetryfestival.com

    Media contact: Marnie Stitz on 32371000 or 0419 734 985

    Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Award for an Unpublished Manuscript

    Winner - $3000 + Publishing Contract with UQP
    Angela Gardner, Parts of speech, West End

    Highly Commended
    Talim Arab, Sexual Mathematics, Wishart

    Highly Commended
    Michelle Dicinoski, Electricity for Beginners, Auchenflower

    Highly Commended
    Sarah Holland-Batt, Landfall, St Lucia

    Highly Commended
    Duncan Richardson, The Grammar of Deception, Corinda

    Val Vallis Award for Unpublished Poetry

    Winner - $3000
    Nathan Shepherdson, The easiest way to open a door is to turn the handle, Glass House Mountains

    Second - $750
    Louise Waller, A feather will fall to the moon as fast as a hammer, Yeppoon

    Third - $250
    Dominique Hecq, Leaving Rome, Thornbury, Victoria

    Highly Commended
    Mandy Beaumont, War Poem, Stones Corner