The winner of this $ 100,000 Victorian Literature Prize for Literature could not be presented on Thursday night for prize-giving. He was inevitably detained elsewhere – on the island of Manus, where he was imprisoned for more than five years.
Kurhian refugee Behrouz Boochani's poetic memory, No friend, but mountains: Writing from prison Manus (translated by Omid Tofighian) not only won the richest prize in Australia but also the $ 25,000 prize for the winning premieres presented by Martin Foley, Minister of Creative Industries.
Elise Valmorbida received a fictitious award for her historical novel, Madonna in the mountains, and Kate Lilley won a poetry award for her controversial collection, Tilt, in which she writes that she is sexually abused as a teenager by her mother's friends, late playwrights Dorothy Hewett.
Other winners were: drama, Kendall Feaver, Almighty sometimes; writing for young adults, Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, Catching Teller Crow; Native Font, Kim Scott, Taboo; unpublished handwritten award, Victoria Hannah, Kokomo; and selection of people, Bri Lee, Eggshell Skull.