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Winner of Kathleen Grattan Prize announced

27th November 2013

The winner of the 2013 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems, run by International Writers’ Workshop NZ Inc, has been announced.

Judges Stu Bagby and Jenny Cole were unanimous in their decision that Belinda Diepenheim be awarded the $1250 prize for her sequence Bittercress and Flax. Maris O’Rourke was runner up with her sequence Wanderings.

The sequence Bitterness and Flax comprises some eighteen poems. Nine are based upon the Nine Herbs Charm used during the 10th century, with the second nine written around medicinal plants used by Maori and the early settlers in New Zealand.

The judges commented that Belinda’s work was “an intelligent and satisfying composition which draws the reader in and holds their interest. Many segments work as stand-alone poems, often wry. The characteristics of herbs and natives interchange with our own attitudes and actions. The poems in the sequence work well together ... the use of language is deft and economical with varied structure.”

Belinda Diepenheim lives in Ashhurst and has had her poetry published in Takahe, Landfall, Poetry NZ and in various New Zealand and international magazines and ezines. She completed the Iowa Poetry Workshop at Victoria University and joined IWW in 2011.

International Writers’ Workshop NZ Inc (IWW) was founded in 1976 by poet Hilda B. Whyte and meets twice a month from February to November at the Lake House Arts Centre in Takapuna. IWW’s main aim is to inspire writers by means of workshops and competitions.

The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems has been made possible by a bequest from the Jocelyn Grattan Charitable Trust. It is one of the two poetry competitions funded by the Trust, the other being the prestigious Kathleen Grattan Award run by the publishers of Landfall magazine.

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