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The C. J. Dennis Prize for Poetry
Subcategory of Victorian Premier's Literary Awards
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Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon Case Notes David Stavanger , Nedlands : UWA Publishing , 2020 18541590 2020 selected work poetry

'Your name is not yours / once it’s in their mouth   

'The highly anticipated follow up to the award-winning collection The Special, this electric new body of work by David Stavanger is a mix tape of free verse, lyric poetry, found text, spoken word and flash fiction documenting the lived/living mental health experience and the well beyond.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon Argosy Bella Li , Newtown : Vagabond Press , 2017 11075538 2017 selected work poetry

'This innovative full-length collection, drawing inspiration from the surrealist collage novels of Max Ernst, is an arresting and utterly unique assemblage of poetry, collage and photography. In two parts, the book engages with themes of travel and exploration, language and loss, identity and originality, as well as the relationship between poetry and other disciplines: the visual arts, history, literature and film. Polyglot in sensibility and content, and daring in construction, Argosy defies categorisation. Grounded firmly in Australian contemporary poetic practice, the book is also outward-looking in its approach to form and content; it constitutes a landmark in both local and international poetics.' (Publication Summary)

Year: 2017

winner y separately published work icon Carrying the World Maxine Beneba Clarke , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2016 9459290 2016 selected work poetry

'A haunting visit to the International Museum of Slavery, in Liverpool, England. A feisty young black girl pushing back against authority. The joy and despair of single parenthood. A love-hate relationship with words.

'This collection brings the best of a decade-long international poetry career to the page.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2016

winner y separately published work icon Crankhandle : Notebooks November 2010-June 2012 Alan Loney , Melbourne : Cordite Press , 2015 8815115 2015 selected work poetry

'Crankhandle is the latest part of an ongoing Notebooks series, the first part of which was published as Sidetracks: Notebooks 1976–1991 (Auckland University Press 1998). Between Sidetracks and Crankhandle comes a longer unpublished section, Melbourne Journal: Notebooks 1998–2003, begun when I first came to Australia. From the beginning, these writings were never seen as notes or sketches towards poems that were yet to be fully realised – each entry was intended to be as finished an act of writing as any other, longer, individual work.

'Over the nearly forty years of this endeavour, there have of course been gaps, but the Notebooks provide a way for me to be quickly attentive to my environment, and to circumstances of wherever I might happen to be sitting, standing, waiting, travelling at any time. Perhaps one could speak of the individual pieces as ‘fragments’, but they are not fragments in the way that ancient Greek poetry has come to us on torn, worn, eaten, half-destroyed bits of papyrus. If these works are fragments, then each of Ezra Pound’s cantos are also fragments, placed against the totality of all poetry, from all over the planet, and from throughout recorded world history. In this sense, fragments are all we have, and will ever have. If some are very long and some very short, then that is simply how things are.

–Alan Loney' (Publication summary)

Year: 2015

winner y separately published work icon The Beautiful Anxiety Jill Jones , Glebe : Puncher and Wattmann , 2013 6702188 2013 selected work poetry (taught in 1 units)

'The Beautiful Anxiety continually breaks across boundaries of the intimate and the global in an invigorating and unsettling mix of materialist and speculative writing on the interconnectedness of life amidst the environmental and cultural turmoil of the 21st century. The poems are in turn provocative, tender, impatient, playful, and swerve through the world, awake to its lostness as well as its ‘flesh and spark’.' (Publisher's blurb)

Works About this Award

A $125K Day for Australian Poetry (And Why We're Starting to Listen) John Kinsella , 2014 single work column
— Appears in: Crikey , January 2014;

'Jennifer Maiden took home $125,000 last night as the overall winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards — Australia’s richest literary prize — for her collection of poetry Liquid Nitrogen. I can think of none more deserving.' (Author's introduction)

Writers' Literary Labours Bear Fruit Jason Steger , 2014 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 29 January 2014; (p. 10)
Q&A with Justin Clemens 2009-2010 single work interview
— Appears in: Inscribe , Summer no. 1 2009-2010; (p. 11)
A Verse Case Scenario Don Anderson , 1988 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 31 December 1988; (p. 40)