From an absolutely stellar field of 120 manuscripts by Australian women poets, this year’s judges, Associate Professor Kate Lilley, Pam Brown and Fiona Hile, selected a shortlist of five.
Melinda Bufton won the award for her collection Moxie.
On winning the award, Melinda Bufton said: "It's an enormous honour to have won the Helen Anne Bell Poetry Bequest; to have my work recognised in this way is incredibly exciting. Poetry is currently in a markedly dynamic phase in Australia, and I am humbled to be part of a shortlist of poets who exemplify this. My gratitude to the judges, the University of Sydney, and the family of Helen Anne Bell is similarly spirited, and heartfelt."
The other shortlisted submissions were (in alphabetical order):
Presented by the Department of English at the University of Sydney, this award offers a cash prize of $7000 and publication with Vagabond Press of a collection of poems between 50-80 pages by an Australian woman poet. It is made possible by a generous bequest to the University by Helen Anne Bell. This is the third biennial award made under the bequest.
Melinda Bufton is the author of two collections, Girlery (2014) and Superette (2018). She is a PhD candidate in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University.
Image: Back row L-R: Associate Professor Kate Lilley; Pam Brown; Bernard Cohen; Beth Yahp. Front row L-R: Jen Crawford; Emily Stewart; Melinda Bufton; David Harold Tribe Fiction Award Winner Claire Aman. Credit: Talin Roche.