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The 2021 BR4R Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize

Date: Sun August 15 2021 12:00 am to Sun August 15 2021 11:59 pm

This competition is in memory of Louise Griffiths – a past member of BR4R

Proudly supported by ‘Social Alternatives’ – an independent, quarterly refereed journal which aims to promote public debate, commentary and dialogue about contemporary social, political, economic and environmental issues.


Ballina Region for Refugees (BR4R) invites you to submit up to three poems to this year’s Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize.

The BR4R Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize celebrates the positive contributions that refugees make to our communities. It acknowledges the circumstances that forced them to flee their homelands and request refuge in Australia. This year’s Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize theme is ‘Time for a Home’. We welcome poems of up to 50 lines that consider the experiences, aspirations and hopes of refugees and asylums seeking a home in which they can build new, meaningful and safe lives.

Poets may send in up to three poems. Poems can be sent until the closing date of Sunday 15th August 2021. Entry is free and is open to anyone living in Australia. BR4R especially welcomes poems from refugees and those seeking asylum in Australia.

Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place winners. The first-place prize is $300, the second-place prize is $150, and the third-place prize is $50. Winning entries and selected runners-up will be published in ‘Social Alternatives’.


The 2021 BBR4R Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize takes inspiration from the #TIMEFORAHOME campaign.

It is time in Australia to release all refugees from detention.
It is time for a permanent resettlement solution
And it is time to give our refugees a home.

Wherever we came from and however we got here, we all need a safe place to call home — a basic human right.

For over seven years, the Australian government has imposed cruel and inhumane policies against people rightfully seeking asylum. Over two hundred people are still held against their will in PNG and Nauru. Over a thousand women, men and children have been moved to Australia for critical medical treatment, but now live in visa limbo. Over one hundred are in locked immigration detention centres and hotel prisons. Countless Australian, UN and independent reports tell the same story of systematic abuse, violence and medical neglect of these people.

Many refugees have recently been released on three to six-month Temporary Final Departure Visas. They have no certainty about what is to happen to them, when they will feel at home.

Enough is enough!

It is time for the Government to release these people from detention.

It is time to resettle them into our community.

It is time to make them safe.

It is Time for a Home.



The poems will be judged by poet Dr Aidan Coleman.

Dr. Coleman is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide.

He has published two full length collections of poetry which were shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Prize, WA Premier’s Book Awards and Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature.

His third collection, Mount Sumptuous, was published in 2020 by Wakefield Press.

He writes reviews and criticism, and has coauthored Shakespeare textbooks. His research on the poet John Forbes (1950-1998) was awarded the University of Adelaide Medal for Doctoral Research.


For more information, visit the Ballina Region for Refugees website at https://br4r.org.au/poetry-comp/

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