The 2020 XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word Winners : Eloise Grills and Jaslyn Robertson

The winners of the 2020 XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word are: Eloise Grills and Jaslyn Robertson (co-winners and collaborators), for their piece “Erotic Thriller”.

Highest Queensland Entry:
Holly Robertson for “The Laundromat is a Peculiar Place for Philosophy”

Highly Commended:
Sarah Temporal ‘Who Gave Birth to my Daughter’ 

Yasmin McQuade ‘Frida’s Eyebrows’ 

In its 6th year, the Arts Queensland XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word is Australia’s only national arts award that recognises the growing field of spoken word and is named after the former 2010 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence, Emily XYZ, who left a deep impression on many of today’s Queensland spoken word artists. It is open to applicants Australia-wide.

Winners: “Erotic Thriller” – Eloise Grills and Jaslyn Robertson

Eloise Grills is an award-winning writer, comics artist, poet and critic. Her first book of poetry, If you’re sexy and you know it slap your hams (Subbed In) was recently shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore award. She’s currently working on her first illustrated memoir with the support of the Australia Council.

Jaslyn Robertson is a young composer of electronic and chamber music who writes with unusual sounds, alternate tuning systems and new forms of notation. In 2020 she has received the Monash Animated Notation Ensemble commissioning prize and a commission for Ossicle duo supported by Creative Victoria and City of Melbourne.

Highest Queensland Entry: “The Laundromat is a Peculiar Place for Philosophy” – Holly Robertson

Holly Robertson is a 19 year old poet and student from Brisbane. Writing for the last six years, she has been featured previously in The Tundish Review, and is currently undertaking studies at university and Tafe across sociology, gender studies, creative writing and library services.  

Highly Commended: “Who Gave Birth to my Daughter” – Sarah Temporal

Sarah Temporal is a performance poet, writer and educator from the Northern Rivers NSW. She won the 2018 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup, and has performed at festivals and events Australia-wide. Her poems are published in the Australian Poetry Anthology, Women of Words anthology, Not-Very-Quiet, Baby Teeth, and other Australian literary journals. in 2019 Sarah established Poets Out Loud, a community arts initiative which empowers people of all ages through the spoken word. Her debut poetry collection, exploring origins and transformations, is currently in development.

Highly Commended: ‘Frida’s Eyebrows’ – Yasmin McQuade

Yasmin is only ever a split second away from meltdown. Whether it’s politics, daddy issues, single motherhood, feminism, mental illness or literal spilled milk, she’s always falling apart at the seams. She pieces herself back together with pen and paper and hopes her poetry encourages others to do the same. Yasmin was an Australian Poetry Slam 2018 national finalist. These days she spends a lot of time cradling lukewarm coffee, contentedly reading and writing in mismatched pyjamas. 

Waffle Irongirl