Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Shortlist chosen for Prize in Modern Letters

MEDIA RELEASE 17 October 2003
Public Affairs Ph: 463 5105; Fax: 463 5108

Shortlist chosen for Prize in Modern Letters

Thirty-nine entries for the prestigious $60,000 Prize in Modern Letters have been short listed to four authors – two novelists and two poets.

The short list is:

William Brandt Alpha Male (1999), The Book of the Film of the Story of my Life (2002). Victoria University Press.
Kate Camp Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars (1998), Realia (2001). Victoria University Press.
Glenn Colquhoun The Art of Walking Upright (1999), Playing God (2002).
Steele Roberts Ltd.
Geoff Cush Son of France (2002). Random House.

Professor Bill Manhire, Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) at Victoria University, says the finalists’ work now goes forward to be read by a panel of American jurors, convened by Eric Olsen, Director of the IIML at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

“It’s a great relief to me that the final decision is out of our hands,” said Professor Manhire. “The judges are going to have a very hard time reaching a decision. The shortlisting group managed to get the 39 entries down to nine or ten, but then spent several more weeks before settling on the final four.”

He said that he would not dare predict the eventual winner.

“The only thing I feel quite sure of is that contemporary New Zealand writing is in very good health.”

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony in Wellington during Writers and Readers Week at the International Arts Festival in March 2004.

Glenn Schaeffer, the literary activist who founded the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria, funds the Prize in Modern Letters.

The inaugural Prize was awarded to novelist Catherine Chidgey in March 2002. Her third novel, The Transformation, will be published later this year by Victoria University Press.

The Institute also plays a key role in another major literary appointment - the Te Mata Estate New Zealand Poet Laureate – and is responsible for co-ordinating the biennial selection and management of the appointment. In February 2003, Brian Turner was named Poet Laureate for a period of two years.


For further information visit

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland