Run by Queensland Poetry Festival, and named in honour of a distinguished Queensland poet, the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award for an Unpublished Poem is committed to encouraging poets throughout Australia. 2018 Selection panel: Alison Whittaker and Angela Gardner.
‘Reality On-demand’, was selected because it was too muscular to ignore, conveyed with a technical skill that denied us breath. It holds a mirror to the construction of increasingly curated forms of reality through media, without flinching. It asks, ‘What will we make of this?’, tackles our insatiable search for the real from home renovation dramas and cooking competitions to the ersatz confection of dating shows and wrestles it to the ground.
We would also like to congratulate the second prize winner, for his poem ‘What We Know About Her’, Damen O’Brien. His poem, through a trail of sensitive, yet pedestrian, data and records, is a chilling mosaic of ourselves in surveillance societies.