Praise for lo­cal poet con­tin­ues

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Lo­cal poet Tim Up­per­ton has made the short­list of the 2016 Ock­ham New Zealand Book Awards. Long-listed with nine other po­etry col­lec­tions in De­cem­ber last year for his book The Night We Ate The Baby, pub­lished lo­cally by Haunui Press, the Massey PhD stu­dent now faces three oth­ers in the po­etry cat­e­gory for the pres­ti­gious awards.

The na­tional po­etry sec­tion prize is $10,000.

Cat­e­gory con­venor, El­iz­a­beth Caf­fin de­scribes Tim’s work as ‘‘orig­i­nal and dis­tinc­tive’’.

‘‘Tim Up­per­ton writes po­ems that an­noy, pro­voke and make you laugh out loud. His male take on do­mes­tic life puts paid to sen­ti­men­tal­ity (though not to love) and his scenes of re­la­tion­ships on the brink be­tween ful­fil­ment and disas­ter are bril­liantly drawn.

‘‘In po­ems like A nice day and Take care he can skewer the cliche´s of the ca­sual con­ver­sa­tion with an unerring touch. Lively, ir­rev­er­ent and great fun.’’

The Night We Ate the Baby was the first in the Haunui Press Kete Se­ries, pub­lished along­side col­lec­tions by Massey’s Leonel Alver­ado and the late Joy Green.

The other three po­etry fi­nal­ists are: How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes by Chris Tse (Auck­land Univer­sity Press), Song of the Ghost in the Ma­chine by Roger Hor­rocks (Vic­to­ria Univer­sity Press) and The Conch Trum­pet by David Eg­gle­ton (Otago Univer­sity Press).

‘‘Up­per­ton writes po­ems that an­noy, pro­voke and make you laugh out loud. ’’ El­iz­a­beth Caf­fin

An­other cat­e­gory fi­nal­ist with city con­nec­tions is Bron­wyn Labrum. A fi­nal­ist in the Il­lus­trated Non-Fic­tion cat­e­gory for her work Real Mod­ern: Ev­ery­day New Zealand in the 1950s and 1960s, Bron­wyn is a for­mer as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at Massey Univer­sity School of De­sign in Welling­ton, and is now Head of New Zealand and Pa­cific Cul­tures at Te Papa.

From Whanganui, Bron­wyn is an alumni of Massey Palmer­ston North, and fre­quent vis­i­tor to the city.

Cat­e­gory con­venor Jane Con­nor says her colour­fully il­lus­trated work cel­e­brates: ‘‘Kiwi en­thu­si­asms from lawn-mow­ing to in­stant pud­dings’’.

The cat­e­gory win­ners will be an­nounced dur­ing the open­ing night of the Auck­land Writ­ers’ Fes­ti­val on May 10.


Poet Tim Up­per­ton con­tin­ues gain­ing recog­ni­tion for his most re­cent pub­lished work, The Night We Ate The Baby.

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