Student awarded Judith Wright prize

7 APRIL 2010

A national prize held in honour of Australian poet Judith Wright has been awarded to CSU postgraduate student, Mr Derek Motion.

A national prize held in honour of Australian poet Judith Wright has been awarded to Charles Sturt University (CSU) postgraduate student, Mr Derek Motion.
 
The 2009 Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets, valued at $3 000, has been won by the poet and PhD student for his work, ‘forest hill’. 
 
In addition to the prize money, Mr Motion’s poem will be published in the next issue of Overland, a quarterly e-bulletin about events, politics and literature. He will be presented the poetry award at the 2010 Emerging Writers’ Festival in the Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday 29 May.
 
Commenting on the winning entries including Mr Motion’s work, judge Dr Keri Glastonbury found, “…this loose-knit community is where a lot of the energy and action in Australian poetry is, and I look forward to seeing these poets release first books”.  
 
Mr David Gilbey, Senior Lecturer in English at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at CSU in Wagga Wagga said, “I'm delighted at Derek's continuing success in the lists of Australian letters. Derek's poetry is concentrated, allusive, multi-faceted, drawing on literary traditions and contemporary cultural and technological practices. It is also finely human and wittily self-facing - a pleasure to read.
 
“Like Judith Wright's poetry, Derek combines metaphysical, personal and social concerns. He richly deserves this award and it's a mark of the modernity and integrity of the judging that his poetry has been recognised.”
 
Mr Motion named his poem ‘forest hill' after the area on the outskirts of Wagga Wagga where he spent some of his early years and where went to primary school.
 
“In particular I think I was concerned with locating imagery surrounding the time when you start to become who you are; a kind of site of individuation and thinking about what this means for the adult me,” Mr Motion said.

It is not the first time the CSU postgraduate student has had his work honoured at the national level.
 
Late last year, Mr Motion received an Australia Council 2010 Emerging Writers’ and Illustrators’ Initiative Grant, valued at $15 000. Read more here.
 
Mr Motion is doing his PhD through the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at CSU in Wagga Wagga. His research focuses on his own poetry in the context of Australian poets, Christopher Brennan (1870-1932) and Michael Dransfield (1948-1973).
 
Living in Wagga Wagga with his young family, Mr Motion is also Director of the Booranga Writers’ Centre at CSU.

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