The 2018 Ipswich Poetry Feast overall winner school age, Emerson Hurley.

Ipswich City Council has reaffirmed its support for the Ipswich Poetry Feast, a popular literary event which started in 2002.

Ipswich Poetry Feast was an initiative of council, delivered by Ipswich Libraries and supported by the Ipswich Poetry Feast Committee, which was chaired by former councillor David Pahlke for 16 years.

The aims of the inaugural poetry feast remain relevant today, including to encourage and reward excellence in poetry writing for young and aspiring poets; enhance the literary skills of our students across all age groups; raise awareness of the creativity and skills in poetry writing and performance; provide an opportunity for emerging and established poets to showcase their work; and showcase Ipswich as a culturally rich and vibrant region.

The central focus of the Ipswich Poetry Feast has been the International Poetry Writing Competition, which has become recognised as one of Australia’s most respected and prestigious annual poetry writing competitions.  

Over a 16-year period this competition has averaged 1,160 entries per year.

Interim Administrator Greg Chemello said the 2018 Ipswich Poetry Feast was funded from Ipswich Libraries’ 2018-19 financial year budget allocation.

“The Ipswich Poetry Feast is a respected and prestigious annual festival with local, interstate and international participation,” he said.

“Ipswich Libraries’ coordination of the Ipswich Poetry Feast aligns with its commitment to support literacy and to promote literature and the arts in the Ipswich region.

“The ongoing role of the committee in relation to this program, however, is more closely aligned to a key stakeholder group, which provides strategic and operational input through consultation mechanisms.”

As such, council resolved on 13 November to dissolve the Ipswich Poetry Feast Committee as an advisory group of council.

Council will continue to work with key stakeholders in the delivery of the Ipswich Poetry Feast as a valued literary program into the future.

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