2023 Queensland Poetry Val Vallis Award Winners

By , , and | 4 May 2023

Image by Torrey+Atkin

Jarad Bruinstroop has won the 2023 Queensland Poetry Val Vallis Prize with ‘Fragments on the Myth of Cy Twombly’ (as well as the highest Queensland entry) and Gayelene Carbis wins 2nd prize with ‘What We’re Not Going to Talk About’.

Judges’ comments on Jarad Bruinstroop: Without prior consultation, this poem rose to the top of each of our shortlists; it was unquestionably our winner. An ekphrastic poem oriented across landscape pages, ‘Fragments …’ invites multiple – even fragmented – ways of reading. The result is something more often possible only in visual art: a precise and rich abstraction – not esoteric, but intimately offering many interpretations.

Judges’ comments on Gayelene Carbis: This prose poem drops us in medias res into a living room with the cast of Seinfield blasting through the fourth wall to mediate a fraught mother-daughter relationship. Within the block constraint of the form, the poet alternates very long and very clipped sentences; the effect floats us along a stream of consciousness punctuated by illuminating dialogue.

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