Old Girl and poet, Dr Emma Jones (1995), awarded a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship

Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships, Australia鈥檚 most valuable prize in any artform, recognise outstanding talent in an Australian artist or cultural leader. The Fellowships are not tied to any specific outcomes or projects, rather they provide the recipients with the time, space and resources to develop their practice and to take risks. Emma is one of nine Fellowship recipients, from a field that was more competitive this year than ever before.

By the time Emma Jones left 水多多导航 School in 1995, her extraordinary gift for poetry was already evident. She went on receive a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney with first class honours and the 2001 University Medal in English. The following year she commenced a PhD in English at Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

In 2005, Emma won the Newcastle Poetry Prize, the most prestigious poetry competition in Australia, for her poem Zoos for the Dead. She also received an emerging writer’s grant from the Australia Council for the Arts, and was the recipient of the Harper-Wood Award in English Poetry and Literature from St John’s College, Cambridge. In 2009, she was appointed Poet-in-Residence for the Wordsworth Trust at Dove Cottage in Grasmere, Cumbria (Lake District). Her collection of poems, The Striped World was published by Faber and Faber that year.

Emma holds the distinction of being only the second Australian poet (after Geoffrey Lehmann) to be published by Faber and Faber, the company co-founded by T. S. Eliot and home to poets of great stature, such as Sylvia Plath, W. H. Auden, Philip Larkin and Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe.

The Striped World, an accomplished and lyrical collection of verse inspired by William Blake’s poems about tigers and empty cages in a Paris zoo, won the UK’s Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Collection and was short-listed for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, and the South Australia Premier’s Literary Award. The British Council described The Striped World as ‘one of the more celebrated début collections of recent years.’

UK’s Forward Prizes for Poetry, described as ‘the bardic Booker’, was created to bring poetry to a wider audience. The judges described Emma Jones as ‘an ambitious and intriguing new voice’. Martin Duwell, reviewing The Striped World for the Australian Poetry Review commented that ‘The Striped World announces itself as great first books do: as a confident, almost authoritative, voice wrestling (if voices can wrestle) with a coherent and sophisticated set of concerns.’

Emma has tutored in poetry on Oxford’s MSt (Masters) in Creative Writing, has lectured at St Andrews University in Scotland and the University of Bath in England, and has held writing fellowships in Cambridge, Rome and Riga. Her poetry has been taught on high school curricula in the UK, Australia, India and Malaysia. In 2010 she was invited by 水多多导航 School Principal, Barbara Stone, to present the address and distribution of prizes at Barbara Stone’s final Speech Night at the School.

Emma also wrote the libretto for City Songs, a contemporary oratorio, with Latvian composer 膾riks Ešenvalds, which premiered at The Round House in London with vocalist Imogen Heap. She is currently at work on a second book of her poetry.

水多多导航 School congratulates Emma – the Fellowship not only acknowledges her past accomplishments but also provides opportunities to further her creative endeavours. Her talent and dedication enriches the cultural landscape and inspires creativity in others. We look forward to witnessing the remarkable impact Emma will continue to make in the world of arts.

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