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Shortlist for schools poetry award reveals talent

19 July 2005

Shortlist for schools poetry award reveals national talent

Six talented young poets have been named as the shortlisted poets for this year’s Bell Gully National Schools Poetry Award.

The 2005 Shortlist My Poetry Teacher Jessie HENDY, Year 12, Taradale High School, Napier Under the trees LIU Guanting, Year 13, St Cuthbert’s College, Auckland Ball Game Selina POWELL, Year 13, Wellington High School, Wellington Travel Log Melissa CHEN, Year 13, Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland History Russell KALE, Year 13, Karamu High School, Hastings Chain of Fools Kirsti WHALEN, Year 12, Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland

At today’s announcement, the shortlisted poems were read by All Black Conrad Smith, Black Cap selector Dion Nash, poet Bill Manhire, author Lloyd Jones, inaugural award winner Mia Gaudin and Bell Gully chairman David Simcock. “The six poems short-listed all have plenty of energy,” said Award judge, Canterbury poet Bernadette Hall.

“The language in them is alive, sparkly with dialogue and imagery, with wit and surprise. As an editor, I would happily send all of them on their way, out into the world to be published. And I know they would hold their ground”

The award shortlist announcement joins the chorus of poetic activity taking place around the country in the run-up to National Poetry Day on Friday 22 July.

Notes for editors

Since 2003, the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) at Victoria University has teamed up with leading law firm Bell Gully to invite secondary school poets from around the country to enter their poems for the award.

Last year’s Award winner, Poppy Haynes, is studying fiction and scriptwriting at the University of Otago, while Mia Gaudin, the inaugural Award winner in 2003, is a member of this year’s undergraduate poetry workshop at the IIML in addition to studying law at Victoria University.

The award winner will be announced on 19 August at a function in Wellington to open the third Bell Gully National Schools Writing Festival, a two-day programme of writing workshops which will be held over the following weekend at Victoria University.

The winner will receive a $500 cash prize; a $500 book grant for their school’s library; a year’s membership to the New Zealand Book Council; and subscriptions to leading literary journals Landfall and Sport.

ENDS

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