Caselberg Trust 2012 International Poetry Prize Winners Announced


The winners of the 2012 Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize have been announced. This year’s competition was judged by Wellington poet James Brown.

First place went to ‘All the Things I never knew’, by Tim Upperton of Palmerston North, and ‘The Tithonus Doll’, by Micah Timona Ferris, of Christchurch was placed second. The winners receive $500 and $250 respectively, and their entries will be published in May in Landfall 223.

The five Highly Commended entries came from Therese Lloyd (Paekakariki), Natasha Dennerstein (Wellington), Mary Cresswell (Paraparaumu), Cliff Fell (Motueka), and Carolyn McCurdie (Dunedin). Their poems, along with the two winning entries, will be published on the Caselberg Trust website during May ( .

The second annual Caselberg Trust competition, which was again judged blind, attracted nearly 200 entries from around New Zealand and overseas. James Brown, in his report, said that the winning poem ‘makes excellent use of rhyme and rhythm to mimic popular song, and the moments when the lines disrupt the expected rhythm are perhaps even stronger. An aging Bobbie Gentry strumming her former hit is a perfect image of nostalgia…’

The judge praised ‘The Tithonus doll’ as ‘a fine lyric poem’ in which the unrequited love felt by a ventriloquist’s doll for her master was ‘beautifully rendered’.

James Brown is himself an award-winning poet, editor, and writer of short fiction. His latest collection of poems will be published by Victoria University Press in July this year.

Tim Upperton’s poems have appeared in many New Zealand and American literary magazines and in various anthologies, including Best New Zealand Poems. His first collection of poems, A House on Fire was published by Steele Roberts in 2009. He also reviews for the Dominion Post and the Listener.

Micah Timona Ferris, born in Switzerland with dual Swiss and New Zealand citizenship, has a BA from the University of Canterbury and an MA from Victoria University. In 2011 she won the Macmillan Brown Prize for Writers and her poetry and short fiction have been published in various NZ and international journals.

In addition to fostering writers and artists in a variety of ways, the Caselberg Trust operates an artist residence at Broad Bay on the Otago Peninsula. The Trust’s inaugural ‘Creative Connections’ residency is currently held by the Featherston artist Megan Jane Campbell.

Chloe Geoghegan