Helen Lucas has won the 2020 Queensland Poetry Festival Val Vallis Prize with ‘Heirloom’; Sarah Rice wins second prize with ‘My Time in Govie Housing Draws to a Close’ and Rae White wins the Highest Queensland entry for ‘The last tourist’.
The wholesome extended imagery, the craftily woven wordplay and delicate repetition are beautifully sustained and developed. The way the body becomes part of the art of knitting is artfully achieved. The fluent lines are carefully orchestrated as are the tensions between the personal and the public.
This poem nests hearty moments inside masterful imagery and carefully placed word play, leaking magic into the mundane. The poem filters its moods well across its lines. The convincing voice surveys the tensions created by loss and paints a memorable portrait of place and character.
This poem’s vernacular immediacy, imagistic freshness and perspectives give it an immediate appeal. Tone and voice are used both humorously and incisively to create memorable portraits that reflect both animal and human foibles in an energetic way.