And congratulations to Australian poet, Dorothy Porter, for winning not only the John Bray Poetry Award but the overall Premier's Award in the 2004 South Australian Festival Awards for Literature. The work is a verse novel, Wild Surmise.

The Premier's Award is for the best overall published work and the works in consideration are those that have already won prizes in the categories of children's literature. Fiction, innovation, multi-media, non-fiction and poetry.

On receiving the Premier's Award, Dorothy said, 'this is an extraordinary honour and one in my most wildest and conceited dreams I never thought I would get it … It's a win for poetry … Existence is a miracle, poetry is its hymn, but conscious of that existence is a real gift, and apart from music, poetry is its most rapturous expression.' She dedicated the 2004 Premier's Award to the memory one of Australia's greatest poets, Bruce Beaver. He died late last month at the age of 76, following a period of long illness. (see a previous entry in this blog for a tribute to Bruce Beaver)

The judging panel wrote of Wild Surmise: 'it's a 'large, ambitious project carried off with brio and mastery; it encompasses the lyrical and the dramatic without losing an essential poise, holding the reader's attention through to the resonant and haunting ending. A sexy work on passion and desire, Wild Surmise explores the nuances of a complex yet interdependent marriage situation as well as the subversive energies of an extra-marital affair with style and mature observation.'

Good on you, Dorothy!


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