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The Flirtation of Girls/Ghazal el-Banat Winner of the Anne Elder Award 2023

The winner of the Anne Elder Award 2023 is Sara M Saleh with The Flirtation of Girls/Ghazal el-Banat (UQP, 2023)

General comments from the judging panel Jeanine Leane, Panda Wong and Harry Reid:

As judges, we were struck by the breadth of style, form, and subject matter in this year’s entries. Stylistically, work ranged from the formally conventional to poetry that challenged the form’s limits. This included multi-lingual poetry that straddled different histories and cultures; visually playful and experimental poetry; poetry that referenced the archive; poetry of resistance and protest; and poetry imagining alternative futures. Topics explored included racism, colonialism, feminism, the Anthropocene, gender, capitalism, crisis, and identity. The Winner and Highly Commended titles are all debuts that are ambitious in scope and imagination, offering new ways of distilling the world into words.


The Flirtation of Girls/Ghazal El-Banat by Sara M Saleh—Winner. Published by UQP.

The Flirtation of Girls/Ghazal El-Banat announces a defiant, powerful new voice to Australian poetry. Sara Saleh writes superbly crafted, sharp, taut, moving poems from a place of deep conviction and intention. Her poems move from deeply personal and tender meditations on stolen homelands, intergenerational histories of displacement to experimental activist poems that dissect and lay bare the violence, hubris, hypocrisy and continuing genocide of settler colonialism.

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