Local poet’s ‘baby’ makes NZ book awards longlist
Palmerston North poet Tim Upperton has made the longlist for the the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Published by local company Haunui Press for the first of its Kete Series, Tim’s collection The Night We Ate The Baby is one of 10 poetry books on the longlist for the $10,000 national poetry section prize.
‘‘I woke up to the news and 10 minutes later my publisher was on the doorstep with a celebratory bottle of wine,’’ Tim says.
‘‘I’m really pleased to be considered. You never know when you write a poem what happens to it when it goes out into the world. So when something like this comes along, you realise someone has read it and responded to it.’’
Tim’s poem Spring from the collection adorns the wall outside the main entrance to City Library.
Haunui’s David Lupton, who turned up with the wine, described the recognition as ‘‘magic’’.
‘‘It’s about Tim really – we just put the paper around his words. As publishers, we are only interested in things about Manawatu... we only do a few, and when we do it has to be epically cool and lighting a fire.’’
He and business partner Bettina Anderson were still on a high from launching Belle, a collection by local cartoonist Brent Putze. Last week’s recognition for Tim’s book is a bonus.
‘‘It’s pretty special for us,’’ Bettina says. ‘‘Boutique publishing is a labour of love and a lot of love went into those poetry books. We’re pretty excited.’’
The other two in the inaugural Kete Series were by Leonel Alverado and the debut collection from the late Joy Green, published with the support of Manawatu’s Earle Creativity Trust.
Another poet with Manawatu associations also made the longlist. Mr Clean & The Junkie by former Massey artist in residence Jennifer Compton who lives in Melbourne, was launched in May at City Library as part of the new Hoopla Series poets. Tim reviewed the collection for The Tribune in August.
The shortlisted books will be announced in March.
Palmerston North poet Tim Upperton has had his collection The Night We Ate The Baby longlisted in the poetry section of the 2016 NZ Book Awards.