Shortlist year: 2015

Shortlist category: Poetry

Published by: Black Pepper Publishing

Exhibits of the Sun is Stephen Edgar's tenth collection of poems. This book displays the great range of his work, which marries technique with powerful emotion and intellect.

With a mastery of rhyme, Edgar's poetry embraces the natural world, and encourages the reader to open their eyes to a universe that physicists are starting to realise is becoming more beautiful and complex as it expands.

About the author

Stephan Edgar

Stephan Edgar was born in 1951 in Sydney. In the early seventies he lived in London, in 1974 he moved to Hobart until 2005, then Sydney. He studied Classics and English.

Edgar has won the Harri Jones Memorial Prize, the 2003 Grace Leven prize and the William Baylebridge Memorial Prize twice, the inaugural Australian Book Review Poetry Prize in 2005, the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal for excellence in literature and the inaugural Australian Catholic University Literature Award. He has published nine collections including Eldershaw which won the Colin Roderick Award and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Poetry in 2014.

Judges’ comments

Stephen Edgar, who earned a shortlisting in last year's Award, has wasted no time in producing another collection of his intricately constructed and precisely expressed observations of the contemporary world.

Exhibits of the Sun is the tenth book in a career of impressive productivity. From a clothes hoist to the rings of Saturn, from libraries and bed sheets and bodies on the beach to the Eiffel Tower and Sydney Harbour, the essence and the philosophical implications of all these wide-ranging subjects are explored sometimes in complex rhyming forms, and at others in rhythmic yet unconstrained blank verse.

There is a unique drama, for the reader of Edgar's rhyming poems, in seeing how and where the next rhyme will fall, and in the unexpectedness of many of his rhyming words, but the pleasure one can take in this process is only a supplement to enjoying the intelligence with which each poem's underlying ideas are set out.