Runner Up Janet Findlay

Winner Renee Edson

MC Craig Taylor & the Founder of the Poerty Feast
Cr David Pahlke with Renee 

Winner Renee with coveted Babies of Walloon trophy

AN Ipswich teenager has delivered an amazing performance to win the inaugural From Page to Stage: Ipswich Performance Poetry Competition on the weekend.

The final judging night was held at the Ipswich Civic Centre last Saturday (April 20) and involved 10 competitors from throughout Queensland taking part in a live performance poetry competition.  Ipswich City Council Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson and Ipswich Poetry Feast Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said 16-year-old Renee Edson from East Ipswich was named as the overall winner.  Cr Pahlke said Renee’s performance of The Forsaken by Duncan Campbell Scott was an example of the exceptional quality of the entries in the competition.  The home-schooled year 11 student has studied speech and drama and is now looking forward to doing a course with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre Company.  She was thrilled to be able to able to use the lengthy poem which tells the story of a Native American woman abandoned by her tribe as her competition entry.  Previously the length of the poem had ruled it out but the eight minute time limit for From Page to Stage was perfect.

The competition runner-up was Janet Findlay from Boonah who is known around town for impersonating Queen Elizabeth II.  Ms Findlay, also a former second place winner of the Ipswich Poetry Feast poetry writing competition and an Ipswich Slam Poetry finalist, presented an original and satirical piece called My American Underpants based on trip she took to the United States in 2007This piece has also been published in an anthology called Trust Me by Ford Street.  Cr Pahlke said two prizes had been on offer for the winners of From Page to Stage.


Ms Edson received $1000 cash and a Babies of Walloon statuette Ms Findlay was awarded $500 cash.”  Cr Pahlke said From Page to Stage “This live performance poetry competition has added a new element to the annual Ipswich Poetry Feast program,” Cr Pahlke said.  “We are excited to see the way in which From Page to Stage has been supported and think this competition will grow in statue over the coming years.”  Cr Pahlke said the competition entrants had provided a wonderful night of entertainment.

The competition was open to all poetry genres and all age groups.  From Page to Stage is part of the 2013 Ipswich Poetry Feast which is an initiative of Ipswich City Council, co-ordinated by the Ipswich Libraries and supported by the Ipswich community.  

The event was created after Ipswich author Judith Baker revealed the town’s local connection to literary legend Henry Lawson in 1999.  In 1891, Lawson was so captivated by the sad but true tale of young sisters Bridget Kate and Mary Jane Broderick who drowned in a waterhole at Walloon, that he immortalised them in his poem The Babies of Walloon. It is from this that the Ipswich Poetry Feast was born. The major focus is an international poetry writing competition with student and open age categories; however other events include a poets’ breakfast, writing workshops for adults and the awards presentation.  Cr Pahlke said the Ipswich Poetry Feast had expanded from a national to an international competition and the prize money on offer has increased from approximately $2320 in 2003 to $7800 this year.  He said the competition attracted an average of 1000 entries per year from throughout Australia. “Poems for the 2012 competition were received from every State in Australia and even from overseas and we are looking forward to a similar level of entries in 2013.”  Entries for the 2013 Ipswich Poetry Feast will close on July 26 this year.


Further information about all Ipswich Poetry Feast events is available by visiting the Ipswich Poetry Feast website at www.ipswichpoetryfeast.comor from the Ipswich Libraries on (07) 3810 6755.

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