Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize

Ballina Region for Refugees BR4R is again partnering with the Australian journal Social Alternatives, who will publish the winning and commended entries in the poetry prize in support of refugees and asylum seekers. They are especially keen to receive entries from refugees or asylum seekers.

This year, another prize has been created for entrants under 18 years old. This is in response to the large number of entries received from people under 18 years old. The winner of this category will receive a $50 prize, thanks to a donation from one of our long-term supporters. 

Bill Boyd, on behalf of Ballina Region for Refugees


The 2022 BR4R Seeking Asylum  Poetry Prize

A Turning Point

Proudly supported by the journal Social Alternatives

Closing date extended to Sunday 21st August 2022

The BR4R 2021 Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize is now open

Ballina Region for Refugees (BR4R) invites you to submit up to three poems to this year’s Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize.

The BR4R Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize celebrates the positive contributions that refugees make to our communities. It acknowledges the circumstances that forced them to flee their homelands and request refuge in Australia.

This year’s Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize theme is ‘A Turning Point’. 

We welcome poems, from anyone in the community, that consider the experiences, aspirations and hopes of refugees and asylums seeking a home in which they can build new, meaningful and safe lives. Poems from refugees and asylum seekers themselves are especially welcome.

The 2022 BR4R Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize celebrates refugees and asylum seekers reaching significant turning points in their lives. The Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize acknowledges that refugees and asylum seekers have encountered important turning points throughout their journeys to safety, from the moment they decided to flee their home, through the many turning points they navigate during their journey across a dangerous world, until the time they become established in their new country, community and home. The Poetry Prize especially celebrates the point at which refugees and asylum seekers can settle in a new community and renew their lives after years of uncertainty.

You are invited to send in up to three poems of up to 50 lines each. 

Entry is free and is open to anyone living in Australia. 

BR4R especially welcomes poems from refugees and those seeking asylum in Australia.

The poems will be judged by poet Juan Garrido-Salgado. Juan is a poet, translator and human rights activist. He immigrated to Australia from Chile in 1990, fleeing the regime that burned his poetry and imprisoned and tortured him for his political activism. He has published eight books of poetry, and his poems have been widely translated.

Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place winners. The first-place prize is $300, the second-place prize is $150, and the third-place prize is $50. There is also a prize of $150 for a poem from a refugee or asylum seeker, and a prize of $50 for a poem from someone under 18 years old. 

Winning entries and selected runners-up will be published on the BR4R web site and in Social Alternatives, a print journal that analyses, critiques and reviews social issues and problems, and seeks to generate insight, knowledge, and understanding of our world. The journal is committed to social justice and stimulating social alternatives to current conditions. You can find more about the journal at

Information and the entry form are available at

The BR4R Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize is run in memory of member Louise Griffith.