Ballina Region for Refugees (BR4R) Poetry Prize 2019

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BR4R (Ballina Region for Refugees) invites submissions to the Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize.

We welcome poems of up to 50 lines that respond to the theme ‘seeking asylum’. 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.

A $1,000 cash prize will be awarded to a single winning entry, along with publication in Social Alternatives, a long-running Australian journal committed to the principles of social justice and to creating spaces of dialogue intended to stimulate social alternatives to current conditions.

The competition opens at 9am on Sunday, 16 June and closes at 11pm Sunday, 18 August, 2019 AEST.   It is free of charge and open to anyone residing in Australia.

Entries will be judged by a panel of three poets: Saba Vasefi, Manal Younus, and Ella Jeffery.



Our Judges

Saba Vasefi

Saba Vasefi is a multi award-winning writer, poet, filmmaker, journalist and women’s rights activist. She researches her PhD on exilic feminist cinema studies and teaches at Macquarie University. She writes for The Guardian about women’s detention narratives and diasporic feminist discourse.

Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals including Transnational Literature and Wasafiri Magazine of International Contemporary Writing.

She was twice a judge for the Sedigheh Dolatabadi Book Prize for the Best Book on Women’s Literature and Women’s Issues.

Saba is a director of Social Justice Award.

Manal Younus

Manal Younus is an Australian-based freelance storyteller from Eritrea who believes that language and stories are the very fabric of our existence.

In 2013, Manal made the Australian Poetry Slam National Finals and in 2015 she released her first book of poetry, Reap. Manal has performed at poetry events around the country, presented at numerous conferences, and featured on ABC’s Q&A.

She travels frequently to perform, facilitate workshops, and speak at public events on issues including youth leadership, gender and female empowerment, faith, blackness, culture, language, migration, displacement, racism and interculturalism.

Ella Jeffery

Ella Jeffery‘s poetry, reviews and essays have appeared in Meanjin, Island, Southerly, Westerly, Ambit (UK), Best Australian Poems and elsewhere.

She is co-editor of Stilts Journal and poetry editor of Social Alternatives. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Young Writer and Publisher of the Year. 

Her first collection of poetry, Dead Bolt, was the winner of the inaugural Puncher & Wattmann Prize for a First Book of Poetry and will be published later this year.

She holds a PhD from Queensland University of Technology, where she is currently a lecturer in creative writing.