Nicholas Wong wins the 2018 Peter Porter Poetry Prize

ABR Peter Porter Poetry PrizeAustralia’s premier prize for an original poem, Nicholas Wong has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Peter Porter Poetry Prize, now worth a total of $8,500.

The 2017 winner, Louis Klee made the announcement at a special event at fortyfivedownstairs on Monday 19 March. Nicholas Wong, who flew from Hong Kong to attend the Porter ceremony, receives $5,000 for his winning poem 101, Taipei.

On winning the Prize, Nicholas Wong said “I’m honoured and humbled to be the winner, especially with a poem whose subject matter may seem foreign. Winning the Porter Prize also allows me to reach out to Australian readers.”

This year’s judges – John Hawke, Bill Manhire, Jen Webb – shortlisted poems by five poets: Eileen Chong, Katherine Healy, LK Holt, Tracey Slaughter, and Nicholas Wong. They were chosen from a record field of almost 1,000 poems. Tracey Slaughter’s poem breather was placed second. She receives $2,000 – the other three shortlisted poets $500 each.

Chair of the judging panel and Poetry Editor of ABR, John Hawke said Nicholas Wong’s 101, Taipei is a powerful representation of urban dislocation, which cuts across cultures and languages in its swerving indirections and switches in style and syntax.”

Nicholas Wong is the author of Crevasse (Kaya Press, 2015), winner of the Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry. He is also the recipient of the Hong Kong Young Artist Award in Literary Arts in 2017. He is the Vice President of PEN Hong Kong, and teaches at the Education University of Hong Kong.

Wong has contributed writing to the radio composition project One of the Two Stories, Or Both at Manchester International Festival 2017, and the final exhibition of Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which will open in May 2018.

“We’re delighted that Nicholas Wong, with his superb poem, becomes the first Asian to win one of ABR’s three literary prizes,” said Peter Rose, Editor of Australian Book Review. “This is good for world poets and the Porter Prize, and is a measure of greater awareness of ABR overseas.”

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Image: John Hawke, Morag Fraser, Nicholas Wong and Peter Rose – courtesy of Australian Book Review