Friday, August 26, 2016

New Zealand’s poets of the future celebrated in National Schools Poetry Award

A North Shore student is the 2016 winner of the International Institute of Modern Letters’ National Schools Poetry Award, which coincides with National Poetry Day.

Ioana Yule Manoa, a year 12 student of Northcote College in Auckland, won first place with her poem ‘History’. Judged by 2016 Creative NZ/Victoria University of Wellington Writer in Residence Anne Kennedy, the award has a prize of $500 and the opportunity to attend a poetry masterclass with Ms Kennedy and fellow poet James Brown at the IIML, home of Victoria University’s prestigious creative writing programme. Ioana’s school library receives a $500 book grant. The nine other gifted young poets who were shortlisted in the awards will also attend the masterclass.

Ioana says finding out that her poem had won was an amazing feeling.
“I’m really excited that my work will be published and shared throughout New Zealand. I’m looking forward to the masterclass where I’ll have the opportunity to meet Anne Kennedy, as well as the other finalists.”

Ms Kennedy says she found Ioana’s poem the most ambitious in the group.

“‘History’ feels fresh and new, while also placing itself among other poetry with its reference to Tomaš Šalamun’s poem of the same name. It’s audacious but also humble. It’s saying: ‘I don’t know everything about poetry, I’ve learned from a master, and this is my version; but my version really is mine.’ After many readings, Ioana Yule Manoa’s poem still excites and surprises me, it hums in my ear, and in the end, it moves me.”

The nine shortlisted poets are: Jamie McKenzie, St Hilda’s Collegiate; Anh Tang, Wellington East Girls’ College; Caleb Morgan, St Andrew’s College; Nina Richardson, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School; Zhouai Wang, St Cuthbert’s College; Eva Poland, Wellington High School; Lily Van Buskirk, Columba College; Kassandra Wang, St Cuthbert’s College; and Mira Karunanidhi, Queen Margaret’s College.

All shortlisted students receive an additional package of literary prizes provided by the New Zealand Book Council, Victoria University Press, Sport, Landfall, and the New Zealand Society of Authors, as well as $100. Flights and accommodation costs are covered for students outside of Wellington to attend the masterclass at the IIML.

The 2016 National Schools Poetry Award is organised by the IIML with the support of Creative New Zealand and advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, with promotional support from Phantom Billstickers and Wonderlab.

The winning poem and all the shortlisted poems will be available on the National Schools Poetry Award website from 8am on National Poetry Day, Friday 26 August

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