It ain’t me, babe (no, no, no)

Well the shortlist for the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Awards is out … and I didn’t make it. Oh well.

The NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry has gone to Selina Tusitala Marsh for Fast Talking PI (AUP). Congratulations Selina!

The shortlist for the Best Poetry Book is a Mainland affair –

And poets have taken over the Fiction category too:

An interesting selection. I have all three of  the poetry books, so shall have to sit down and reread them. I don’t have Selina’s book, although it’s been on my books-to-investigate list for a while now.

I think though that it’s a pity they don’t have a shortlist for Best First Book – and not just because it might have given me hope for a few months longer (I’ll though I’ll admit an element of that … sigh!). But it would have been interesting to know who made the shortlist, and who else was considered. Something to talk about. An acknowledgement that there was more than one book in the running. On the other hand, it does mean that three first time authors get an extra two month of celebrating …

So, who do you think should win? Do any of the choices surprise you? Please you? Irritate you? And what is it about the South Island that produces so many fabulous writers?

4 Replies to “It ain’t me, babe (no, no, no)”

  1. Sorry you didn’t make it babe – I mean, Joanna. Well done the Mainland, though, and huge ups for your generous post. I will have to read these books now – I have, to my shame, read none of them, although I have a couple there on the PILE to read…. looking at them now.

  2. Well, she says stoutly, I think you should be in the running–but I am rather partisan! 🙂 Although all 3 of the finalists have strong claims, as well (I can actually put my hand on my heart and say that I have read them all!)

    I haven’t read Selina’s book yet … but Ruth Todd at Women on Air tells me she really enjoyed it. Will have to put it on the pile now.

    I agree with you about no shortlist for the new poets: I really think that’s a fizz, especially as it was the new poets that I enjoyed reading and interviewing most last year.

    I will keep my fingers crossed that the Mary Gilmore Prize in Aus comes through for you and The Summer King–and most deservedly imho.

  3. I also am very sad about the demise of the best first book shortlists. I’d only just really noticed their existence, and they were gone again. I thought they were a really nice way of giving a bit extra attention to a few newer writers. The whole awards seems such a pinched affair this year, with only four categories and not many books in each.

    Sorry that you didn’t make the shortlist. There’s no accounting for taste.

  4. I agree, too, that it would have been good to have a shortlist for Best First Book, it is great to have several new writers to explore. I enjoyed The Lustre Jug, but not as much as Bernadette’s previous book, The Ponies – I could never fathom why that one missed the shortlist. I also have Michael Harlow’s book but I haven’t read Brian Turner’s yet. Loved Limestone, and have been thinking of reading As the Earth Turns Silver, but I already have a big pile of unread books and not enough time 😦

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