Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Barry Southam - 2011 Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop poetry prize recipient

Each year the Earl of Seacliff awards a prize to a poet who they think has contributed a significant or unique book or performance in the world of Aotearoa/New Zealand poetics, and who may not be acknowledged by the more conservative or mainstream gatekeepers of 'te ao waiata'. 
This years award goes to a poet who has been around the poetry scene since the 1960s and was one of the first of the new breed of performance poets along with people such as James K. Baxter, Hone Tuwhare, Bill Mnahire, David Mitchell and many others who brought poetry off the page and on to the stage in the 1970s.

Barry Southam's latest book Portrait Poems, published by ESAW, is now out. $20 

Portrait Poems

a collection of people sketches
Barry Southam

Barry Southam currently lives in his earthquake battered home town of Christchurch. While living in Auckland he acted in many television plays and films and was one of the early performance poets. He has had a variety of occupations, the most recent working in the field of mental health as a counsellor.
He is the author of four books of poems and stories, as well as a number of radio and stage plays that have been produced locally and internationally.

Reviewers have praised Southam's past collections.
"...writes with humour and insight" Harvey McQueen, Bravado
"...a shrewd, ironic and compassionate observer of the human comedy" P.Simpson, The Press
" impact in the literary and social sense is powerful" T.Beyer, Landfall
"...a warmth of humanity spreads throughout" W.D.Leadbetter, NZ Herald
"...profound comment on human relationships and character" J. Ghent, Auckland Star
" acute observer of our absurdities" T. Jackson, NZ Listener

Previous ESAW Poetry Prize Winners
2010 Robin Fry
2009 Jill Chan
2008 Will Leadbeater
2007 Evelyn Conlon

Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, PO Box 42, Paekakariki, Aotearoa, New Zealand. 
Book orders only should go to PO Box 211, Otaki.
Email of an editorial and administrative nature should be directed to Michael O'Leary at
Email concerning distribution and sales should be directed to Sales at

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