Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Small Publisher, Big Books: 
Auckland University Press Tops Award Shortlist For Third Year

Auckland University Press has four finalist books and one winner in the inaugural 2010 New Zealand Post Book Awards announced today, more than any other publisher. 

This is the third year that Auckland University Press, a small publisher of scholarly non-fiction and poetry for the general market, has appeared at the top of the shortlist in New Zealand’s national book awards. This year, Auckland University Press took out one of the three best first book awards and one quarter of the 16 main book award finalists.

The Auckland University Press finalists are spread across three of the four NZ Post Book Award categories: Poetry – The Tram Conductor’s Blue Cap by Michael Harlow; Illustrated Non-Fiction – Mrkusich: The Art of Transformation by Alan Wright and Edward Hanfling; Marti Friedlander by Leonard Bell; and General Non-Fiction – The Invention of New Zealand: Art and National Identity, 1930–1970 by Francis Pound.
And Selina Tusitala Marsh has won the 2010 Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry for Fast Talking PI.

“Art and poetry publishing require creativity and a willingness to take risks,” said Auckland University Press director Sam Elworthy.  “At Auckland University Press we’re lucky enough to work with enormously creative poets, authors, artists, designers and editors who collaborate to produce great books.  And those books are worth taking a risk on.  It’s been great to go into a second printing on three of these books and now to receive such recognition in our national awards.”

Elworthy is particularly happy to see Auckland University Press win the Best First Book of Poetry award for the third year in a row.
“Discovering new talent is a key role for a publisher and Selina Tusitala Marsh is a huge talent,” said Elworthy.
Fast Talking PI, which includes a CD of live performance, appeared in the New Zealand Bestseller List when it was launched in 2009. The book is now in its second printing.

The winners of the NZ Post Book Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony gala dinner to be held in Auckland on Friday 27 August 2010. The presentation of the awards for best First Book of Poetry, Fiction and Non-Fiction will be presented at that event

The overall winner of the Book of the Year Award will receive $15,000. The winners of each of the four category awards will win $10,000, the Maori Language Award $10,000, the Readers’ Choice Award $5,000, and the three NZSA Best First Book Awards, $2,500.

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