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February 1, 2023

Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize is open for entries

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The only thing better that a poetry competition is a poetry competition for a great cause.

The Ballina Region for Refugees (BR4R) is inviting submissions to the 2020 Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize. The prize celebrates the positive contributions refugees make to our communities and acknowledges the circumstances that forced them flee their homelands and request refuge in Australia. The prize is open to all Australian residents.

BR4R is volunteer-managed organisation dedicated to supporting and advocating for refugees and asylum seekers. BR4R volunteers organise rallies, vigils, and talks to raise awareness. BR4R also fundraises to provide financial and material assistance for refugees and asylum seekers in on-shore and off-shore detention and in the community.

BR4R’s vision is to welcome, respect, and support refugees and people seeking asylum. Their goal is to promote the acceptance and integration of refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia by thinking globally and acting locally.

The poetry completion hope to highlight issues surrounding refugees and welcomes poems of up to 50 lines that consider the variety of roles holding patterns occupy in refugee and asylum seeker experiences.

The theme is ‘Holding Patterns’

This year’s competition theme is ‘holding patterns’. Planes circle, unable to land. Queues stretch past the horizon. Waiting periods extend beyond memory. Names slide from one form to the next. A backlog of unanswered questions, a hallway that never ends, a compound that never closes. The holding pattern can be approached from a broad variety of perspectives, and contributors may consider the ways in which holding patterns signify delay, disruption and discouragement, bureaucratic complexity, the stasis of legal and financial processes, systematic and institutional structures that obstruct or delay action—but also holding onto, being folded into, patterns of family, friendship, community, and culture.

Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place winners. The first-place prize is $300, the second-place prize is $150, and the third-place prize is $50. Winning entries will be published in Verity La, an online, transnational creative arts journal that values creative risk-taking and brave, minority, and progressive voices, as well as on the BR4R website and newsletter. Verity La are also offering paid publication in a special showcase to a limited number of entries from refugees or those seeking asylum to be selected at their discretion.

For further details and to enter follow the link: https://br4r.org.au/poetry-comp


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