An ode to the Wiradjuri Walking Track has earned a Wagga poet the top prize in a prestigious national competition.
Dr Lachlan Brown, a senior lecturer in English at Charles Sturt University, has won the 40th annual Newcastle Poetry Prize.
His poem Any Saturday, 2021: Running Westward earned him the $15,000 award and was based entirely on his daily runs along the iconic Wagga track.
"Everyday I run along the Murrumbidgee River and this poem is about that Wiradjuri Trail and all the different things I might think or experience as I'm running," he said.
"It's a very long poem and it took me about a year of scribbling down bit by bit at coffee shops across Wagga to finish it."
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The lecturer has been writing poetry for the past 20 years but said this was the first time he had won a major award for his writing.
"The ceremony was done via Zoom so I was sitting at home and to be honest I didn't expect to win at all because I knew there were some fantastic poets also in the running," Dr Brown said.
"My poem has things about KFC, misspellings of Kanye West and things about Wreck It Ralph, so really it's a very strange poem and so I was very surprised to win but it is a huge honour to be recognised."
Dr Brown's poem and the other finalists are available in the 2021 Anthology book being sold by the Hunter Writers Centre.
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