I am off on a Storyline’s National Festival Tour of schools on the East Coast of the South Island with Eileen Merriman, Vasanti Unka and Phillipa Werry. We are doing ‘What’s My Story?’: an evening event in Christchurch where we discuss our work. Come and say hello!
I wish that trapdoor to Wellington was still working – VERB’s LitCrawl has the most eclectic and appealing range of poets I have seen in eons and if I could be there in a flash I would. On Saturday night the range of voices is stunning. But it starts now!
This WOW! is on today:
Full programme here
Otago University Press media release: Unpredictable powers of non-human world inspire winning collection
Lyttelton poet Philip Armstrong has won the 2019 Kathleen Grattan Award with his poetry manuscript ‘Sinking Lessons’.
‘Sinking Lessons’ was described by judge Jenny Bornholdt as an ‘accomplished, engaging collection of poems that displays literary skill and a sharp intelligence at work.’
‘There’s great affection for life of all kinds – human and the natural world – coupled with an awareness of the fragility of existence,’ she says.
Philip Armstrong says the poems in his collection are shaped by two main themes: the sea and the agency of the non-human world in general.
‘I grew up in a house beside the Hauraki Gulf, and for the last two decades I’ve lived within sight of Lyttelton Harbour, and the sights and sounds and smells of salt water make their way into my poetry whether I intend it or not’.
‘The other theme linking these poems is my attempt to recognise the active, mobile, lively, unpredictable capacities of the non-human world, from animals and plants through to waste matter and refuse, through to land forms and weather patterns.’
The biennial poetry award from Landfall and the Kathleen Grattan Trust is for an original collection of poems, or one long poem, by a New Zealand or Pacific permanent resident or citizen. Landfall is published by Otago University Press.
Philip Armstrong receives a $10,000 prize and a year’s subscription to Landfall, and Otago University Press will publish his collection in 2020.
For more information about Kathleen Grattan and the history of the award
About Philip Armstrong
Philip Armstrong works at the University of Canterbury, teaching literature (especially Shakespeare), human–animal studies, and creative writing (including poetry).
He has written a number of scholarly books (two on Shakespeare, and two on animals in literature) as well as a book for a general audience (about sheep in history and culture). In 2011 he won the Landfall Essay Prize for a piece about the Canterbury earthquakes, entitled ‘On Tenuous Ground’. ‘Sinking Lessons’ is his first collection of poetry.
Full details here
The Michael King Writers Centre Trust is looking forward to welcoming and hosting a diverse cohort of writers who during their time in Devonport’s Signalman’s House, will work upon an exciting and eclectic range of topics to include: two memoirs; seven novels and short story collections; three children’s books; two theatre plays; two collections of poetry, and four non-fiction projects.
The presitigous University of Auckland/MKWC Residencies were awarded to Pip Adam, Albert Belz, Tom Doig and Penelope Jackson.
Other established writers to receive residencies include current Poet Laureate David Eggleton, Hera Lindsay Bird, Jeff Evans, Rachael King, Bren MacDibble, Tina Makereti, Joshua Pomare, Max Rashbrooke and Tania Roxborogh.
Emerging writers awarded a residency are Aroha Awarau, Jane Arthur, Rose Carlyle, Megan Dunn, Amy McDaid, Tru Paraha and Maria Samuela.