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Five Auckland University Press books among finalists

Media Release

Auckland University Press

24 July 2013

Five Auckland University Press books among 2013 NZ Post Book Awards finalists

Five Auckland University Press books appear on the list of sixteen finalists for this year’s NZ Post Book Awards.

Anne Kennedy’s The Darling North and Ian Wedde’s Poet Laureate collection The Lifeguard are finalists in the Poetry category.

His Own Steam, about iconic potter and conservationist Barry Brickell, by David Craig, Gregory O’Brien and Haru Sameshima with a foreword by Hamish Keith and published in conjunction with the Dowse Art Museum, is shortlisted for the Illustrated Non-Fiction award.

Two books have been recognised in the General Non-Fiction category: Historian and Treaty researcher Vincent O’Malley’s The Meeting Place, on Māori and Pākehā relations pre-1840, and first-time author Jarrod Gilbert’s gang history Patched, which has re-printed three times since publication in March.

“We’re just enormously thrilled to have five finalists in the New Zealand Post Book Awards spread across all the categories that we publish in – poetry, illustrated non-fiction and general non-fiction”, said Director Sam Elworthy.

“It’s more than any other publisher and that says to me that we’re taking some imaginative risks and cultivating some local talent, which is what our business is all about.”

This the sixth year that small publisher Auckland University Press has appeared at the top of the shortlist and the Press’s books, by six authors and one photographer, make up over 30% of this year’s list.

The judges noted that many of the finalists this year were published by smaller publishers and urged bigger publishers to take more risks.

“Much of the best risk-taking, much of the bravery, and much of the joy that comes from opening a book and finding a brilliant, original and fearless companion, came from smaller publishing houses. Thanks and congratulations to you all. But come on you bigger folk, some wilder courage please.”

The finalist authors will be taking part in public NZ Post Book Award events around the country leading up to the NZ Post Book Awards ceremony in Auckland on 28 August, at which the winners will be announced.


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