24 Jul 2009
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Jenny Bornholdt has won the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards Poetry prize for her collection The Rocky Shore; a book that judges say has achieved something significantly new in poetic practice in this country.
In this collection, Bornholdt, one of New Zealand’s most celebrated poets, ‘disobeys the rules that poetry should be compressed rather than sprawling, that it should avoid the personal, that it should eschew ‘unpoetic’ elements, that it should not include digressions or speculations about imponderables,’ says 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards judges’ convenor, Dr. Mark Williams.
‘Bornholdt uses speech as we know it in everyday life, not lifted into the poetic, but made poetry by all that it is allowed to contain.’
The six long autobiographical poems that make up The Rocky Shore published by Victoria University Press were written over as many years. It is the Wellingtonian’s ninth poetry collection.
Bornholdt, who is currently in Europe says it is a real honour to win this award.
‘It's great to have poetry recognised in this way and I feel very lucky to win among such a strong line up of poetry books.’
The other Montana New Zealand Book Awards Poetry category finalists were Get Some by Sonja Yelich (Auckland University Press) and The Lakes of Mars by Chris Orsman (Auckland University Press).
The announcement made today marks Montana Poetry Day; a nationwide celebration of events featuring some of the country’s best and emerging poets.
West-Aucklander and Philosophy graduate, Sam Sampson has won the New Zealand Society of Authors Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry for his collection, Everything Talks (Auckland University Press).
The Awards judging panel, comprising Dr Williams, journalist Margo White and novelist and reviewer Jane Westaway, says the best poetry newcomer displays an uncompromising effort to make language work intensely.
‘Sampson has succeeded magnificently in generating excitement and involvement in the reader.’
The other NZSA Best First Book for Poetry category finalists were The Propaganda Poster Girl by Amy Brown (Victoria University Press) and The World’s Fastest Flower by Charlotte Simmonds (Victoria University Press).
The Rocky Shore will be judged alongside the winner of the Fiction category for the ultimate prize, the Montana Medal for Fiction or Poetry.The winner will be announced at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards ceremony and gala dinner at the Auckland Museum on Monday 27 July.
Bornholdt’s publisher will accept the $5,000 prize on her behalf as Poetry category winner at this gala dinner.
Sam Sampson will also receive his $2,500 prize at the Awards ceremony.
The principal sponsors of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards are Montana and Creative New Zealand. The awards are managed by Booksellers New Zealand and supported by the Book Publishers Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand Society of Authors and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd.
For further information contact: Penny Hartill, publicity consultant to the MontanaNew Zealand Book Awards, 09 445 7525, 021 721 424, firstname.lastname@example.org