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Archive for December, 2009

Best of the Best of Lists for 2009

It’s that time of year when newspapers and magazines the world over publish their best of lists. So the Scoop Review of Books has decided to end the year with a best of the best of books list for 2009.

Criminal - from the NY Times best graphic novels list.
Criminal - from the NY Times best graphic novels list.

The New York Times isn’t satisfied with just one best books list, it has: the 10 best books of 2009;100 notable books;, Best illustrated children’s books; Best graphic novels, and a host of other categories.

For those with plenty of time on their hands or planning out their retirement reading the Guardian helpfully compiled a list of the 1000 Best Novels. And equally ambitious is its Books that Defined the Noughties. And then there’s the best food books of the decade.

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Barry Brickell – Man of Steam and Clay

The following essay by Dunedin writer Pauline Dawson appears in the recently released Barry Brickell, Six Spiromorphs Kilmog Press, 2009. The edition is limited to just 45 copies and is only available at Parsons Bookshop in Auckland.

How to write of a man that defies and even rejects definition? As some home-grown New Zealand version of Vulcan, god of fire and craftsmanship, Barry Brickell could be variously described as railway and steam enthusiast, engineer, obsessive, writer, eccentric, conservationist, master potter, craftsman, artisan, and also very much an artist. He is a man that has created his own way and from his search for original forms has sprung undoubtedly elemental art; a literal product of the land.

Born in 1935, Brickell grew up in Devonport, Auckland. He had an early passion for fire, steam and clay and these interests were eventually channelled into a science degree at Auckland University. The late 1950s in Auckland was a time of a great creative ferment. The relatively small scale of the artistic community brought together key figures of the time. Brickell took painting lessons with Colin McCahon, was mentored by Len Castle and lived for a time among the artistic milieu that trailed through his bohemian flats with Keith Patterson, Hamish Keith and others. All the while Brickell continued making his great warty stoneware pots. While many ceramic artists of the time had an oriental influence, Keith describes Brickell’s aesthetic as hovering “somewhere miraculously between New Guinea Sepik River and a 13th Century European rubbish tip”[1].

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Turbine 09 generates imaginative energy

The 2009 issue of online literary journal Turbine (www.vuw.ac.nz/turbine) is now live, featuring the best and freshest in New Zealand writing.

Turbine 09 includes the title essay from Can You Tolerate This? the personal essay collection by newly-announced Adam Foundation Prize winner Ashleigh Young, alongside work by 2009 Montana Best First Book of Poetry recipient, Sam Sampson, award-winning ex-pat New Zealand writer Kirsty Gunn and leading UK poet Christopher Reid.

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$35,000 Writer Grant Announced

New Publishing Award Announced

The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.), in association with Pindar NZ, Whitcoulls, Astra Print Group, the New Zealand Herald and Creative New Zealand are proud to announce the launch of the “NZSA Pindar Publishing Prize”.

This competition offers budding New Zealand authors the opportunity to be professionally edited, produced, marketed and distributed throughout New Zealand. The total package is worth around $35,000 to a talented new author. Full details and application forms are available on www.authors.org.nz

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First Maori writer’s residency announced

Media Release
The Michael King Writers’ Centre is calling for applications for the first Maori writer’s residency at the centre in 2010.

The residency is being offered with the support of Te Waka Toi, the Maori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand.

The residency is for eight weeks from 14 May next year. The selected author will have free accommodation at the writers’ centre in Devonport, use of its writing studio and will receive a stipend of $8,000.

It is the first time the centre has been able to offer a residency especially for a Maori writer. It has had 10 writers in residence since it was established in 2005. Next year, it will have two short residencies and a six-month residency, as well as the residency especially for a Maori writer.

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