To mark World Poetry Day, we’re taking a look at the work of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Poetry winner.

21 March 2018

Dr Anthony Lawrence is one of Australia’s leading poets and last year won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for poetry for his work Headwaters.

Headwaters brings together complex ideas of sources and origins from the natural world to human experiences.  

Anthony told us he can find inspiration for his poetry anywhere or anytime: “while trolling lures for albacore and southern bluefin tuna out on the continental shelf, and in a fire watchtower”.

In his poem below, Loss, he shows the power of poetry to capture a moment and reflect the human mind (and its failings).

Loss, by Anthony Lawrence

When I consider what I have lost
being reckless with things I own
and do not own, I can put it down
to being absentminded, but there
       is nothing I can say
in my defence, when I confess
to a loss between houses or states
of mind, of a small cardboard box
containing my father’s ashes.

World Poetry Day is an UNESCO event held every year on 21 March. It is a time to recognise the role of poetry in society and the importance of cultural and linguistic  expression.

In 2012, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards added the Poetry category to acknowledge the significant contribution this art form makes to Australian literature.

Hear from Anthony about what winning the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for poetry meant to him: