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Blake Poetry Prize
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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The Blake Poetry Prize was established in 2008 by The Blake Society, in partnership with the NSW Writers’ Centre and sponsored by Leichhardt Council in NSW. From 2016 (after a loss in funding), Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) and Liverpool City Council took over funding and managing both the art prize and the poetry prize, with events moving to Casula. From 2017, management was intended to shift to Liverpool City Library, in conjunction with CPAC, but bookshop Westwords ultimately took the library's role in the partnership.

It is an open poetry prize, for works of 100 lines or less. The prize aims to encourage Australian poets to engage in the dialogue between religion, spirituality and poetry.

It is one of two prizes established by The Blake Society (the other award is the Blake Prize, for art) that challenge artists and poets to investigate ideas and issues surrounding spiritual thought and religion in contemporary art and literature.

The Blake Society takes its name from William Blake, a visionary artist and poet. The Society aims to encourage artists of disparate styles, religious and spiritual allegiances to create significant works of art and poetry.

Source: Sighted: 3/12/2013.


  • The Blake Poetry Prize is a joint venture between the New South Wales Writers' Centre with the Blake Society, Leichhardt Municipal Council and Wet Ink magazine. The Prize is a means to 'link art and literature and to give Australian poets new possibilities to explore the nature of spirituality in the twenty-first century'.

    The Prize was announced in 2007 and first offered in 2008 with prizemoney of $5,000 and publication in Wet Ink for the winner.

    Source: The Blake Prize website,
    Sighted: 10/09/2007

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2017

winner The Story of Julian Who Will Never Know We Loved Him i "there’s a drunk on the train spouting Kant", Julie Watts , 2018 single work poetry
— Appears in: Rochford Street Review , October 2017 - March no. 24 2018;

Year: 2014

winner Dave Drayton for Threnodials

Year: 2013

winner Appellations i "A semi-acoustic ballad", Anthony Lawrence , 2013 single work poetry
— Appears in: Blake Prize 2007;

Year: 2012

winner Altar Rock Graham Kershaw , 2012 sequence poetry
— Appears in: Award Winning Australian Writing 2013 2013; (p. 116-117)
'Graham Kershaw's poem, "Altar Rock", addresses the mixed inheritance of white settlement in the Murchison district of WA. The actual Altar Rock, also known as Mass Rock, is where 1920's architect and priest, John Hawes, took communion to indigenous people who were reluctant to attend a church.'

Source: The Blake Prize website,
Sighted: 20/11/2012

Year: 2011

winner Via Negativa : The Divine Dark Robert Adamson , 2011 sequence poetry
— Appears in: Newswrite : The NSW Writers' Centre Magazine , October-November vol. 199 no. 2011; (p. 9) Award Winning Australian Writing 2012 2012; (p. 72-75) Net Needle 2015;

Works About this Award

From Prisoner to Religious Poet Peter Kirkwood , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 2 December vol. 21 no. 23 2011; (p. 3-4)
'A paradox of mystical experience is that it is often in contemplating emptiness, nothingness and darkness that the seeker comes to an awareness of divine light.

For some years this has been the preoccupation of the poet featured in this interview. It is also the subject of his poem , 'Via Negativa, the Divine Dark', which won this year's Blake Poetry Prize.' (p. 3)
The Art of Touching Space Kirsten Krauth (interviewer), 2010 single work interview
— Appears in: Newswrite : The NSW Writers' Centre Magazine , October/November no. 193 2010; (p. 22-23)
Undercover Susan Wyndham , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 13-14 September 2008; (p. 26)
A column canvassing current literary news including brief reports on the win by Mark Tredinnick in the inaugural Blake Poetry Prize, the announcement by John Green that he plans to establish Pantera Press (to publish mass market fiction) and the launch of Wayne Grogan's third novel, Heavy Allies.
Blake Poetry Prize Dominique Wilson , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: Newswrite : The NSW Writers' Centre Magazine , October no. 174 2007; (p. 7)
Dominique Wilson reports on the planning process to establish the inaugural Blake Poetry Prize.
Undercover Susan Wyndham , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 8-9 September 2007; (p. 28)