About the award
The Kenneth Slessor Prize ($30,000) is offered to a poet for a book of collected poems or for a single poem of substantial length published in book form. A collection of poems may consist partly of work previously published in book form, but this work must be clearly identified by the nominator. In such cases the judges will assess only the new work and determine whether it is sufficient, in quantity and quality, to merit an award. A collection of poems may be published in a book containing the work of up to four poets. The judges will exercise their discretion in determining whether the work of the nominated poet is sufficient to make it eligible for an award.
The Judging Panel
Felicity Plunkett is an award-winning poet and critic. She is the author of A Kinder Sea (UQP), Vanishing Point (UQP) and the chapbook Seastrands (Vagabond), published in Vagabond Press’ Rare Objects series. She edited Thirty Australian Poets (UQP, 2011). Felicity has a PhD from the University of Sydney and was Poetry Editor with University of Queensland Press for nine years. She is a widely-published reviewer and critic, and a respected mentor of other writers.
Kim Cheng Boey
Since emigrating from Singapore in 1997, Kim Cheng Boey has made a home in Berowra, NSW. His poems have featured in the literature syllabus of the GCE "A" Level, the HSC and the International Baccalaureate. His sixth collection of poetry, The Singer and Other Poems, won the 2023 Kenneth Slessor Prize. He has also published a travel memoir, Between Stations (Giramondo 2009), and Gull Between Heaven and Earth (Epigram 2017), a novel based on the life of the Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu.
Rico Craig is an award-winning poet, writer and workshop facilitator. His poetry has been awarded prizes or shortlisted for the Montreal Poetry Prize, Val Vallis Prize, Newcastle Poetry Prize, Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize and University of Canberra Poetry Prize. Bone Ink (UWAP), his first poetry collection, was winner of the 2017 Anne Elder Award and shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize 2018. His most recent collections Our Tongues Are Songs and Nekhau are published by Recent Work Press.
About Kenneth Slessor
The Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry is named after poet and journalist Kenneth Adolf Slessor (1901-1971). Born at Orange, New South Wales, Slessor’s family moved to Sydney in 1903. He began writing poetry as a child, with his first publication, a dramatic monologue, appearing in The Bulletin in 1916. Only a year later, his poem ‘Jerusalem Set Free’ won the Victoria League Prize. Slessor began as a cadet journalist with The Sun and later became editor of Smith’s Weekly, 1935-40, during which period he wrote most of his poetry. He developed close friendships with Norman Lindsay, Hugh McCrae and Jack Lindsay. Slessor’s appointment as official war correspondent in World War Two took him to Greece, Syria, Egypt and later New Guinea, returning to Sydney in 1944 to work for The Sun. His reputation as poet grew as a result of his published collection One Hundred Poems, 1919-1939, which was reissued several times. In 1957 he moved to the Daily Telegraph where he stayed until his sudden death in 1971.