Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize 2019 winners announced

By Robert West, Caselberg Trust | Posted: Friday October 11, 2019

The winners of the 2019 Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize have been announced. The competition is now in its ninth year, and this year’s competition was judged by poet Dinah Hawken from Paekakariki.

First place went to Gail Ingram from Christchurch for her poem ‘The social-media cat got their tongues”, and ‘the fungibility of thought’ by last year’s winner Derek Schulz was placed second. The winner receives $500 and a week’s stay at the Caselberg House. The second placed poet receives $250. Both poems and the judges report will be published in November in Landfall 238 – Spring 2019.

The five Highly Commended entries were “Dog” and “R channels David Attenborough” both by Mary Macpherson (Wellington), “Somebody killed the cat” by Emer Lyons (Dunedin), “Second Language” by Ruby Solly (Wellington), and “Catch and Release” by Alan Roddick (Dunedin). Their poems, along with the two winning entries and the judges report, will be published on the Caselberg Trust website in late November (

In her judges report Dinah Hawken describes what she feels makes an attractive and sustainable poem “I warm to a poem that makes an impact emotionally as well as an impact of ideas and description. I like poems that, in my serious mind, ‘really matter’ in this unsettled world, though I know what really matters is changeable, individual and wide ranging

Gail Ingram is the author of Contents Under Pressure (Pūkeko Publications 2019), a novella told in poetry. Her poetry and short stories are widely published in New Zealand and overseas. Awards include winner of New Zealand Poetry Society and third prize Poets Meet Politics international poetry competitions. She lives and writes on the Port Hills of Christchurch. See more at

The awards night will be held at UBS Bookshop Dunedin on Tuesday 26 November 5.30pm. All welcome.

Contact for further information:

Robert West – email:

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