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Top NZ Young Poets Announced

18 July 2006

Top NZ Young Poets Announced

Finalists’ poems in pdf format…

Ten secondary school students from throughout New Zealand were today delighted to be announced in the short list of aspiring poets in the Bell Gully National Schools Poetry Award, organised by Victoria University’s Institute of Modern Letters (IIML). The winning poems were unveiled by top New Zealand poets Bill Manhire, Elizabeth Knox and Hinemoana Baker.

The shortlisted poets will be flown to Wellington in August for a poetry masterclass with IIML director Bill Manhire, Award Judge James Brown, Chris Price and Bernadette Hall.

This year’s competition attracted 180 entries from Year 12 and Year 13 students throughout New Zealand. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Wellington on 18 August.

“With only two days to go until Montana Poetry Day, we’re delighted to be able to celebrate the next generation of New Zealand poets,” says Professor Manhire. The shortlisted poets are:

Andrew Aitken-Fincham St Andrew's College Christchurch
Lisa Cochrane Epsom Girls Grammar Auckland
Sophia Graham Epsom Girls Grammar Auckland
Chaturika Jayasinghe St Cuthberts College Auckland
Graeme Ninness Awatapu College Palmerston North
Jennifer Niven Samuel Marsden Collegiate Wellington
Dora Sharpe-Davidson St Andrew's College Christchurch
Alisha Vara Rangi Ruru Girls' School Christchurch
Sarah Wilks Samuel Marsden Collegiate Wellington
Lilian Yong Epsom Girls Grammar Auckland

Award judge and poet James Brown believes the competition will help all those shortlisted to develop their talent.

“The really great thing about this competition is that it isn’t just a case of entering a poem and then finding out whether you’ve won anything or not. The day of masterclasses will give me and others a chance to discuss the poems with the poets and suggest ways to improve them.”

Every shortlisted poet will be awarded a 12-month subscription to Sport, New Zealand’s leading literary journal, a 12-month membership of the New Zealand Book Council, $50 Booksellers Tokens and $100 cash.

The winner will be awarded 12-month subscriptions to Sport and literary magazine Landfall, a 12-month membership of the New Zealand Society of Authors and the New Zealand Book Council, $50 Booksellers Tokens, $500 cash and $500 to spend of books for their school library.

Finalists’ poems will be available at from Tuesday afternoon

Finalists’ poems in pdf format…

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