The festival that lasts for weeks
Writers on Mondays is back – this year curated by Bernadette Hall, and once again hosted by Te Papa. If you’re interested to hear any of the following writers, check out the programme.
Outside of our Twitter feed, it can take us a while to catch up with the news, but big congratulations to Pip Adam & Lynn Jenner, who have received the best first book awards for fiction and poetry in the NZ Post Book Awards. And congratulations, too, to Laurence Fearnley, whose novel The Hut Builder is shortlisted in the fiction category. Harry Ricketts, with co-editor Paula Green, is also there in the non-fiction category for 99 Ways into New Zealand Poetry - the book which led Michael Hulse to write in the winter issue of New Zealand Books: "New Zealand has been punching above its weight for decades in the art of poetry, and shows no sign of stopping". And he hasn't even seen The Best of Best New Zealand Poems yet.
It's troubling that the shortlists have barely been noticed by main stream media - the lesson we must learn is that the Book Awards as they are currently conceived have no actual news value. There has been lots of discussion about the length of the fiction list, and about the absence of some contenders, but it's mainly been in blogs and social media. The most missed title among bloggers and tweeters was Patrick Evans's Gifted. And the Twitter world also picked up a remark first posted, if we recall correctly, on Beattie's Blog: "The Book Awards are fast becoming the Wellywood sign of the book world . . ."