Lo­cal poet’s ‘baby’ makes NZ book awards longlist

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

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.

PHOTO: DAVID LUP­TON/SUP­PLIED

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.

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