Andrew Hardy Youth Poetry Prize

The Tasmanian Poetry Festival in 2022 began this inaugural youth poetry award in the name of Andrew Hardy, a brilliant young poet who died too young at the age of 22. The festival hopes to continue this award in years to come as it seeks to nurture and encourage future Tasmanian poets.

The late Tim Thorne (founder of the Tasmanian Poetry Festival in 1985) said this about Andrew:

Andrew Hardy was not only a poet of great potential, but his sudden and unexpected death deprived us of his keen intelligence, his warm personality and his idiosyncratic and zany genius. His touch is always deft, no matter what the subject and his sense of tone is exact and knowing.


Judges Report
There were 34 entries in the inaugural Andrew Hardy Poetry Award, seventeen entries in each of the two categories; 16 years and under, and 17 to 30 years. The overiding themes were the natural world, personal identity, humanity and concerns for the future ...

The judges imagine and hope that as the award takes hold and garners more interest, that the number of entries will continue to grow. It's invaluable for young poets to have the support and encouragement not just of their friends, peers and the family but also of older poets, teachers and the wider community. Fostering the writing of poetry as a valid and valuable art form from a young age can only enrich our human experience by acknowledging the many ways of seeing and being in the world.

American poet and singer songwriter Alice Osborn says -

Poetry is like the windex on a grubby car window—it bares open the vulnerabilies of human beings so we can all relate to each other a little better.

17 - 30 years

1st prize to the poem 'River (Sestina)' - The sestina is a complex, thirty-nine-line poem featuring the intricate repetion of end-words in six stanzas and an envoi.

Formal poetry can be a challenge and this poet has pulled it off. Merely following the rules of a poetic form does not guarantee a good poem. This poet has managed to adhere to a demanding structure while achieving a lyrical feel, allowing each stanza to flow into the next much like the river it pays homage to. The poem asks us to look at our relationship to the aliveness of the river, to water as the sustaining force of all life.

2nd prize to the poem 'Urban animals' - in almost every short line of this poem the reader is swept up in rich imagery and original use of language. A delight for the senses.

Highly commended. 'A piece of me' - The use of personification in this poem invites the reader into a closer relationship with the natural world. The final lines link the elements water, fire, earth and air to the poets own emotional states of being.

16 years and under

1st prize. 'A poem at the stump of the paw paw tree'. This poem seems a fitting tribute to the poetry of Andrew Hardy. A passionate and contemplative exploration of the desire to write poetry, of how nature compels a creative response. This poem illustrates a maturity and sense of connection with place beyond the years of the poet.

2nd prize. 'A Child Sits at a Desk Learning'. The refrain 'a child sits at a desk learning' is a tongue in cheek statement of fact fitting the educational-institutional context well. A coming-of-age-poem full of subtle rhymes and passion for independence and the opportunity for positive change.

Highly commended. 'Time capsule' - A protest poem for the times, this poem offers a clear-eyed vision of current political and environmental issues. The poet voices a message of strength and hope in facing up to a generation's concerns. 'Gen Z won't cower'.