Best First Book – Poetry winner has been announced

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The Best First Book Award for Poetry at The New Zealand Post book Awards goes to Marty Smith and her stunning debut, Horse with a Hat.  The book has beautiful illustrations by Bendan O’Brien and is published by Victoria University Press.

Warm congratulations to Marty and all involved. Well deserved accolades.

Earlier on Poetry Shelf I reviewed the book:

Marty Smith’s debut collection, Horse with a Hat, is a gorgeous book. The lush and evocative collages by Bendan O’Brien draw you in close, in a way that is both haunting and intimate. His cover collage replicates the way a poem can lead you to a wider picture (the ocean and its lure of voyage) and the catching detail (the pattern on a shell, the way a horse holds its head in anticipation). Heavenly!

The book itself is equally captivating. Horse with a Hat revels in poetry as a way of tracking a life, of harnessing an anecdote. The poems delve into relationships, previous generations, magical moments, pockets of history and, while they exude warmth and joy, Marty is unafraid of darker things, earthier things (violence, the threat of violence, grease and oil, bad tempers, men at war).

For my full review see here.

Best First Book -Fiction: Tough by Amy Head  (VUP)

Best First Book Non-fiction: Tragedy at Pike River Mine by Rebecca Macfie (Awa Press)

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