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Portrait of painting
Bruce Dawe by Sven Roehrs (Fryer Library accession number 100528)
World Poetry Day will be observed tomorrow (March 21) with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression.

It is an occasion to honour poets; promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry; and restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting.

A decision to proclaim March 21 as World Poetry Day was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999 to recognise the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

None believe this more so than USQ Emeritus Professor Bruce Dawe, AO, one of Australians most acclaimed poets.

Emeritus Professor Dawe believed universities should support the study of Literature and promote the Arts in Australian society. His decision to sponsor USQ’s prominent Literary Prize is ongoing, living proof of his conviction.

This annual $2500 prize has been generously endowed by Emeritus Professor Dawe to celebrate Australian poetry.

Entries are open to the Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize, a competition which encourages burgeoning and established poets to submit their works for a chance to win the prestigious award.

Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize judge and USQ English and Cultural Studies lecturer Associate Professor Laurie Johnson claims poetry was a form of art that enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

"Poetry is incredibly important for the health of any society because it represents the use of a language to connect a reader directly to the emotions, lived experience, and thoughts of others,” Associate Professor Johnson said.

“Without access to poetic language, people lose the capacity for empathy that is essential to society, and World Poetry Day is a timely recognition of this vital role that poetry plays across the globe."

The Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize judging panel includes USQ School of Arts and Communication lecturers Associate Professor Laurie Johnson, Dr Jessica Gildersleeve, Dr Nike Sulway, Dr Daniel Hourigan and Dr Sharon Bickle.

Entries for the 2017 Prize close May 12. Winners will be formally announced at the USQ Alumni Networks Bookcase event on July 22.

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