Denbeigh Darnell and  Chloe Dickson  from Shayne McCormack Ballet  Centre doing the   Babies  of  Walloon  Re-actment Dance at the Launch
POETRY enthusiasts have just under 15 weeks to produce an award-winning entry for this year’s Ipswich Poetry Feast competition.  The 2012 competition was officially launched this morning at Henry Lawson Bicentennial Park at Walloon during the annual Ipswich Poetry Feast’s Poets’ Breakfast.
Cr  David Pahlke said entries for the 2012 competition would be accepted up until 5pm on July 27.“We want to encourage all writers of poetry from throughout Ipswich and all over Australia to take part in the 2012 competition. “The 2011 competition attracted a total of 1599 entries from throughout Australia and included six entries from residents of the United States of America, New Zealand and India.”
2012 was a special year for the Ipswich Poetry Feast as the event was celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
“Over the past decade it has been wonderful to witness the wealth of talented people who have taken part and we look forward to that continuing in 2012.”  The Ipswich Poetry Feast was created after Ipswich author Judith Baker revealed in 1999 the town’s local connection to famous Australian bush poet, Henry Lawson. Lawson was so captivated by a sad tale of two young girls who drowned in a waterhole at Walloon in 1891 that he immortalised them in his poem, The Babies of Walloon.
The competition was launched in 2002 in honour of Lawson and the Broderick sisters.  It designed to encourage, reward and showcase poetry and excellence in poetry writing and performance.  The event incorporates a written poetry competition and also includes a presentation evening for the competition winners along with poetry writing workshops held in local schools and a slam poetry event. 
The council spokesperson said The Ipswich Poetry Feast had gone from strength to strength over the past 10 years and the response from budding poets continued to increase each year.
“A brilliant effort was made in particular by schools all across the state last year, with a record 69 schools submitting 923 entries. “The most popular category was the 8 to 10 years category, which had 492 entries, followed by the 11 to 13 years group with 458 poems.  “We hope to see similar entry numbers in 2012.”  Entry for the competition is free in all categories under 18 years of age, however, a $5 fee per entry applies to anyone entering the open age categories.
There are also plans this year to introduce a new event – The Ipswich Poetry Performance Awards.  “These awards will be open to entrants across all age groups.”  Competition entry forms, guidelines and conditions of entry can all be found on the Ipswich Poetry Feast website at www.ipswichpoetryfeast.com.au
For more information call 3810 6755.

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