Thomas Shapcott Prize

Named in honour of a distinguished Queensland poet, the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize is committed to encouraging emerging Queensland poets. Now in its 10th year, this prestigious prize for an unpublished poetry manuscript comes with a total value of over $3,000.

On behalf of Arts Queensland, Queensland Poetry Festival is thrilled to congratulate the winner of the 2013 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize:

David Stavanger for The Special

Below is an excerpt from the winning manuscript.

Optimism (1)

The basis of optimism is sheer terror – Oscar Wilde

surviving a plane crash
is good for you

when the plane crashes into the sea
the sea is the least of your worries

the pilot announces
I have nothing in front of me

golden time starts
ninety seconds to get naked
ninety seconds to become a bird

there are never enough parachutes
you won’t fall into another’s arms

nylon has low melting points
slender males will fare best

once you are in the water
there is cause for concern
whistling attracts sharks

the objective is to rest the sky
eyes open and then close


We would also like to congratulate Jonathan Hadwen, whose entry Fragments was highly commended, as well as shortlisted entrants Chloe Callistemon, Zenobia Frost, Stuart Cooke and Nicola Scholes.

If you have any queries regarding this award please contact Queensland Poetry Festival in 07 3842 9990 during office hours or email anytime.

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Queensland Poetry Festival

Queensland Poetry Festival


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