Geoff Goodfellow Poetry Prize winner

A powerful poem by Year 10 student Brenna Laherty is the winner of the Geoff Goodfellow Poetry Prize for 2017.

Goodfellow presented Brenna with her prize at the Senior School assembly in the Horton Auditorium on Monday, 21 August.

This is the second year that the competition has been held and the first time that it has been won by a student from the north of the state. The competition was open to all Year 9 and 10 Tasmanian school students.

Brenna, 16, won the $250 first prize and a copy of Goodfellow’s book, Waltzing with Jack Dancer, together with a selection of books for the College.

“The title of my poem is ‘No’, and is about the sexual assault that girls face in today’s society,” Brenna said.

Goodfellow, who judged the competition, is a South Australian-based writer whose poems focus on people living close to the margins of society.

He said the competition aimed to foster an interest in poetry, to make students aware that language is power and to provide a platform for students to examine and write about social issues.

“Brenna’s poem is powerfully written,” he said.

“It is an empowering poem for young women and has an educative role for females and males alike.

“I believe it is a poem that senior high school students would relate to easily. It is also an honest poem that has the potential to resonate with people of varied age groups.”