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Landfall Essay Prize Winners Announced

Patrick Evans and Kapka Kassabova have been announced as the joint winners of the 2002 Landfall Essay Prize.

Choosing winning essays can be difficult. The range of entries in the Landfall Essay Competition showed that there can be as many kinds and tones of essay as there can be poems and short stories. Judge Margaret Mahy decided to award the first prize to two essays -"so different in intention it was hard to choose between them."

Patrick Evans' essay '"A very emotional person as well": Allen Curnow, 1911-2001' is described by Mahy as "erudite and academic in the best sense of the word, yet entertaining too. It is straightforward yet rich: an account (at times) of the poetry of Allen Curnow but even more of the philosophical assumptions and emotional pressures that possibly underlie that poetry."

Kapka Kassabova's essay 'We too are Europe' drew the comment that it was "factual, plain and yet poetic and ... aroused the sort of imaginative responses most commonly touched on by poetry or fiction."

Patrick Evans and Kapka Kassabova will share the $2,500 prize sponsored by Landfall's publisher, University of Otago Press. The winning essays and five other finalists are published in Landfall 203, released Tuesday 14 May.

Highly commended essays were; Lawrence Jones, 'The Mushroom Cloud, the Long White Cloud and the Cloud of the Unknowing'; Lloyd Jones, 'Notes Towards a First Novel'; Dennis McEldowney, 'Unwilling Pilgrim'; Jack Ross, 'A Strange Day at the Language School'; and Denis Welch, 'The Names'.

"We have been impressed by the number and quality of the entries and look forward to the next essay competition in 2004," says Wendy Harrex, Managing Editor of University of Otago Press.

Former Landfall editor Chris Price initiated the idea of an essay competition to build on Landfall's tradition of publishing sustained, creative and critical essays.

About the Winners

Patrick Evans is a fiction writer, playwright, literary critic and historian. He is the author of the Penguin History of NZ Literature (1990), two novels and three award-winning short plays. He teaches New Zealand literature in the English Department at the University of Canterbury. Kapka Kassabova is the author of two novels and two volumes of poetry. She is travel writer of the year in the 2002 Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards.

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