The Sophia Nugent-Siegal Poetry Prize is designed to encourage talented young writers whose work creatively encounters or engages with the past—its great minds, ideas, texts, artworks, literature, mythology, philosophy, theology, wars, struggles, chronicles, voyages, visionaries—and seeks to enter that enduring conversation in a meaningful way.
Entrants must be born on or before 24 November 1986, meaning that they are 30 years or younger at the time of submission and must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or an international student currently studying in Australia.
Poems must be written in English and must be the original work of entrants. Poems must be unpublished and must not have been submitted elsewhere to be published.
Poems are to seek to engage (eg in theme, imagery, allusion or form) with history and its attendant cultural traditions, particularly (but not exclusively) with reference to the Classical and Western tradition.
Multiple entries are permitted; an entry fee of $20 applies for each.
Prize money: $5000
About the Prize
This prize is created as a legacy of Sophia Nugent-Siegal, and in her memory, through a gift to Macquarie University (with particular reference to its Ancient History Department) by Sophia’s mother, Dr Robyn Nugent.
Sophia Nugent-Siegal was a gifted young poet, writer of speculative fiction, and Macquarie graduate and postgraduate student of ancient history, whose work reflects her passionate commitment to the sensitive and thoughtful engagement with the past—both in terms of elucidating the past itself and as a necessary means of interpreting the present and imagining the future.
Sophia believed in the critical importance of “remembering not forgetting” in the creative development of both individuals and societies. For her, culture was a conversation—the voices of the past as real and present as our own, speaking to us of a shared humanity.
Sophia died in 2014 of a rare autoimmune condition, at the age of 22.