Wisdom ~ The Prize
Sophia believed that one of the defining issues of our times is the increasing lack of a sense of the distinction between public and private worlds. Government intrusion into private behaviour and a corresponding intrusion of people’s private behaviour into the public space (social media is like an immersion in the collective id) are debasing both social life and intellectual endeavour.
In the years since her death, the ongoing craziness of the current era—which seems more and more like one enormous reality TV show—has provided an object lesson in what not to do.
Therefore, the response of Sophia’s executors to Macquarie University’s handling of Sophie’s Poetry Prize will not be played out in the public square—except to say that “disappointing” is not a sufficient descriptor.
MQ has notified entrants and returned entry fees.
That’s it, end of that chapter—but not the end of the story.
The goals of Sophia’s Prize—to highlight the importance of the past in understanding our world, to fulfil our responsibility to transmit the necessary cultural lexicon to the future, to encourage the most thoughtful minds of this generation in the pursuit of wisdom—these things are too important to allow to be put in the “too hard” basket.
The Sophia Nugent-Siegal Estate will relaunch Sophia’s Prize (or, it is anticipated, prizes) in a different form, and through a different platform. It will take a little organising, so we would be grateful for your patience, but we promise the wait will be worth it.