One day to the launch, and a catastrophe here at home has put my kvetching about launch stress back into perspective. Poetry is important, and the launch of my first book is important. But any launch problems will pass and be forgotten quickly enough. A decent number of the people I love will be there to see my book launched, and that’s what counts. Everything else is just the frippery around the edges. Deep breath time. Sing with the joy of the moment, and let the rest fade away.
In other news: New Zealand has a new Poet Laureate – the wonderful Cilla McQueen. A fellow OUP poet! Stuff has an article and interview with her this morning. Michele Leggot has done a great job of taking the laureatship out to the general public. It will be interesting to see what Cilla does. And hooray hooray for two women laureates in a row!
Tomorrow is Montana New Zealand Poetry Day. For the last time, as it happens – next year the event will be sponsored by New Zealand Post. And being National Poetry Day, it’s also the day when the winners of Best Poetry Collection 2009 and Best First Poetry Collection 2009 will be announced. I’ve already blogged about The Rocky Shore, Get Some, and The Lakes of Mars, so you know what I think of them. I’ve read two of the books in consideration for Best First Collection (Amy Brown’s The Propaganda Poster Girl and Charlotte Simmonds’s The World’s Fastest Flower) and will blog about then in a bit more detail later (short version: liked Browns, didn’t like Simmonds’s, haven’t read Sampson’s, and am reviewing The Propaganda Poster Girl for the NZPS.) But I thought it might be interesting to give you guys the chance to vote for which book you think deserves to win.
Actually, lets be interesting and do the cynic’s version: which book you think should win, and which you think will win. As incentive (and assuming there are more than two of you who have a go) one entry selected at random will win a NZ poetry collection, chosen from a shortlist of however many I get together in time. And anyone, anywhere, is welcome to take part.
So whether your choices are based on intelligent analysis, blind guessing, entrenched cynicism or a mixture of all three, make your selections from the polls below. Assuming I survive the launch, I’ll select the winner on Saturday morning and post the result here onblog shortly after.
Amendment: as Catherine has reminded me, polls are anonymous. So if you’d like to win a book you’ll also need to leave a comment so I can email you later … sorry about the brain fade.