Tuesday, 31 August 2010

New Zealand Post Book Award winners

Judith Binney has won the 2010 New Zealand Post Book of the Year award for her work Encircled Lands, a book about Tūhoe’s quest for self-government of their lands. Tūhoe, represented by kaumatua Wharehuia Milroy and Pou Temara, responded in numbers to the presentation at the gala awards ceremony held in Auckland last Friday night. Last year, Tūhoe bestowed Binney with the name Tomoirangi o Te Aroha (a little cloud of rain from heaven) in recognition of her work.
New Zealand Post Book Awards judge, Paul Diamond, described the winning work as one that will profoundly change our understanding of our shared history. ‘Encircled Lands is an exhaustive, comprehensive history of Te Rohe Pōtae o Te Urewera, the only autonomous tribal district that was recognised in law. Not only does it fulfill the author’s hopes of revealing an almost unknown history to a new audience, it also deftly illustrates why the history of the Urewera and its people continues to resonate.

Debut novelist, Alison Wong won the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Award for Fiction for her book, As The Earth Turns Silver, ahead of established writers, Fiona Farrell and Owen Marshall.
Charmaine Pountney said Wong brings a powerful new voice and new themes to New Zealand fiction. ‘Based on meticulous research, this novel opens new windows on the development of our nation; it also opens our hearts to the anguish caused by racism, ignorance, failures in family relationship and communication, and war. The book is a delight to look at and hold, as well as deeply moving to read.'

Brian Turner, a leading biographer, essayist, poet and conservationist, was presented with the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Award for Poetry for his collection, Just This, described by judge Elizabeth Smither as a life’s work in its reach, its depth and its deceptive plainness of surface.
'Just This dares to ask the profoundest questions about place and human existence, how we live now and how we hand the world on. It is dangerous poetry because it addresses ethics but at the same time it is leavened with a sweet and sly self-awareness as it searches for “something you can have faith in, swear by”. The journey from the first poem to the last is a revelation,’ says Smither.

In a tightly fought contest that had judges reaching for superlatives, co-owner of Wellington’s famed Logan Brown restaurant, celebrity chef and passionate fisherman, Al Brown won the Illustrated Non-fiction category for his book Go Fish: Recipes and stories from the New Zealand Coast. Awards’ judge Neville Peat described Go Fish as a seafood recipe book with edge and attitude. ‘Colourful images pour from the pages and spicing up the illustrative side are busy montages demonstrating how to prepare crayfish, crab and paua, and how to fillet a flounder – no mean feat, any of this. The recipes themselves, easy to follow, employ an engaging mix of type sizes and layout techniques. For a cookbook, it’s a remarkable page-turner,’ says Peat. Go Fish also won this year’s coveted People’s Choice Award as voted by thousands of readers nationwide.

In a substantially increased prize-pool from previous years, the New Zealand Post Book of the Year Award winner received $15,000. Winners of the four Category Awards each received $10,000 and the People’s Choice Award winner $5,000.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Information from the NZTA - Newmarket Connection: Southbound Switch

"Important travel advice to all motorists -->
To enable us to open up the new southbound Newmarket Viaduct, we will be closing the Southern Motorway, southbound, between Gillies Ave and Greenlane for a period of up to 36 hours. This necessary closure will take place from 5pm on Saturday September 4, meaning the motorway will remain closed, southbound, throughout Sunday September 5. When the motorway reopens in time for Monday morning, southbound traffic will travel across the first half of the new Newmarket Viaduct.

The closure will cause significant disruption throughout central Auckland, as up to 60,000 vehicles are re-routed through local roads. Therefore we advise all motorists to only travel by car if it is really necessary over this period, particularly on the Sunday.
Should you need to travel by car, please consult the
detour maps. These detours will provide you with the best travel option to key destination points, however delays are inevitable. Your best bet on this Fathers day is to either switch your mode of transport, or keep it very local.
Thank you for your cooperation. This single weekend closure and opening of the new bridge will allow us to open the fourth southbound lane from the city to Greenlane by early 2011, reducing journey times and peak hour frustrations for regular commuters, and providing an improved driving experience for all."

Friday, 27 August 2010

Top 5 for Friday - Daffodil Day

Hands up anyone whose life hasn't been touched in some way by cancer. Yourself, family, friends, colleagues? Hmmm - didn't think there would be many of you. So that's why today's Top 5 for Friday addresses the subject that only used to be discussed in whispers and behind closed doors. Today's Top 5 books deal with CANCER.
  1. Lance Armstrong. Regardless of the drug debate and his cycling career, there is no doubt that Lance Armstrong fought and survived cancer and is today the inspirational figurehead of the Live Strong organisation. His books It's not about the bike, Every second counts and Live strong are all worthy and inspiring reads to start the list. There are also plenty of other biographies of those who have fought cancer.

  2. My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult. There is a huge amount of fiction on our shelves dealing with cancer battles, the impact of the battle on family and friends and how people cope. This is one of the most high profile and one of Jodi's best. This is the story of how a family is ripped apart by the battle to keep one child alive . It was last year made into a successful movie.

  3. Nicki's mum - Dot Meharry. There aren't a lot of picture books dealing with Cancer, but this New Zealand one is a great introduction for younger members of the family. There are also childrens fiction and teen fiction titles for slightly older children. You shouldn't have to say goodbye (Patricia Hermes) is a particularly good book.

  4. Help Me Live - 20 things people with cancer want you to know - Lori Hope. Everyone deals with cancer differently and that includes the people around the person who actually has the disease. Often this is because they just don't know what to do or say. This book is one of the many that we have in the library that can help.

  5. Understanding Cancer - Auckland Cancer Society. As well as the wealth of information on our shelves, especially in our non-fiction medical section, all Rodney Libraries also have this resource on our Reference shelves. As well there is a link through to the NZ Cancer Organisation.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Read to Succeed

There's only about a month to go on our "Read to Succeed" teen reading challenge aimed at students in Years 9 to 13. All teens have to do is to read five books across a range of genres by the end of Term 3. (This is also part of the requirements for NCEA English - how convenient...)

Entry forms can be obtained from Rodney Libraries or local college libraries. The form must be completed and signed by a parent, teacher or a librarian each time a book has been read. Once five books have been completed and signed off, teens should drop their entry form into the library. Successful entrants will qualify to go into a draw to win an iPOD and other prizes. Prize winners will be notified at the beginning of Term 4. For more information pick up one of the flyers or ask a librarian.

We're getting some great questions and feedback about the challenge. If you know a teen then make sure they're in to win!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Biodiversity lecture series at Auckland Central Library #2

United Nations has designated 2010 as the Year of Biodiversity and Auckland Central City Library has organised a series of four free lectures to generate awareness of this diverse and interesting topic. The second is on Wednesday 25 August.

Our collective taonga: urban forest plan

Craig Bishop, Senior Ecologist at Auckland City Council, presents the 'urban forest plan', one of six action plans that will deliver 'Places for people, places for nature' and how it relates to vegetation on the Auckland isthmus. He will also discuss how the action plan for the Hauraki Gulf Islands addresses the range of open space issues in the islands and how it links with the urban forest plan.

Craig is an ecologist with 15 years experience in teaching ecology and protection, and managing of ecological sites in urban and rural settings. Currently Craig works in the Heritage Team at Auckland City Council and is responsible for administering natural heritage within the council boundaries. He is actively involved in protecting and managing significant ecological sites, providing input into restoration projects on council parkland, and the urban forest plan.

Wednesday 25 August 2010
12.00pm - 1.00pm, Central City Library, Whare Wānanga, level 2
Bookings essential, phone 377 0209 to reserve a place

Here’s some brief information about the next 2 lectures
- Wednesday 8 September. Grapes, Guava, Ngutu Kaka and Land Crabs. David Havell, Biodiversity Technical Support Officer with DOC will be talking about threatened species and ecosystems.
- Wednesday 22 September. Peter Fraser, Conservation Officer at Auckland Zoo will be talking about Te Wao Nui, the exciting new ecological areas to be developed at the Zoo.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Storylines Festival workshops in Whangaparaoa

More Storylines Festival fun in Whangaparaoa! Writing and illustration workshops for children 10-14 years at Whangaparaoa Library tomorrow. $15 per workshop.

Creating Characters: Bring your stories to life by creating characters who jump off the page.

Lorraine Orman - An early love of reading and writing led Lorraine to her involvement in the literary life as an adult. Initially, she worked in the National Library in Wellington; then when she had her own family, she began to write short stories for children.

Illustration Workshop with Fraser Williamson
2.30 - 4.00pm
Bring It To Life Will Ya!: Illustrating children's books for publishing. From a script, complete a character study, learn about layouts and put together a rough draft of book illustrations.

Fraser Williamson a.k.a Fraz is an artist/ illustrator whose work ranges from large illustrative soul paintings, which depict dream and spiritual life, to quirky children's books which try to amuse and entertain. Fraser wishes to portray characters and environments that allow for imagination and diversity.


This post is coming to you, not from a library in Rodney, but from Whangarei. I am currently travelling around the north with several authors and an illustrator as part of the Storylines Festival Schools Tour. Yesterday Tim Tipene, Donovan Bixley, Janine McVeagh and Diana Menefy visited schools at Matakohe and around Dargaville. Today it is the turn of some of the Whangarei Schools.

Tomorrow, Saturday, the Storylines Family Fun Day will be hosted by the Whangarei Central Library. This is your chance to meet some of your favourite authors, listen to some fantastic storytelling, watch illustrators at work, be entertained, facepainted, enter competitions... It's all happening from 10am - 2pm. Check out this website link for the programme or pick one up at the library.

Then on Sunday there is an even bigger Family Fun Day at the Aotea Centre in Auckland. There will be more of the above on every level of the Centre and I hear Margaret Mahy will be putting in an appearance (which you may need to turn up early for), but the guest list reads like a Who's Who of Kiwi children's literature (Check it out here). You will also see some familiar Rodney faces (local authors and local librarians).

Did I mention it is all FREE!! Hope to see everyone at Auckland on Sunday and to meet some more friendly folk from the north tomorrow.

Ka kite

Top 5 for Friday - Library Reads

Today is "Love your Library Day". So it seems appropriate that our Top 5 for Friday today will be about books that are based in or around Libraries (or have Librarians as their main characters).

1. Mr Muggs the Library Cat (Dave Gunson). The National Storytime book from Wednesday has to be number one, but it is not the only Children's Picture book that relates to Libraries. One of my other favourites is Library Lion and for the rest of the list, click on this subject search link.

2. Continuing the theme of cats in the library, is Dewey, the small town library cat who touched the world by Vicky Myron. An orphan cat is stuffed into the after hours return slot at a little library in Spencer, Iowa and is adopted by the staff, the customers, the town and then the world. Dewey is branching out this year and his story will shortly arrive at Rodney Libraries in both junior fiction and picture book versions.

3. This book is overdue by Marilyn Johnson is a 2010 publication and is an anecdotal tale examining how librarians can help everyone from drowning in the digital age, find the answers to vague random questions, use their inner crystal balls to determine what the question actually is and bursts through old stereotypes. I am in the middle of reading this at the moment and am thoroughly enjoying it. But it's not jsut for librarians.

4. Large Print - An unshelved collection by Gene Ambaum & Bill Barnes. Librarians poking fun at themselves and their daily lives in cartoon format.

5. The Mobile Library series by Ian Sansom. Meet Israel who is a new librarian, ready for his first real job in Ireland. But the library is shut, 15,000 books are missing and he can't get a proper cappuccino. Through the series (available in both print and audio at Rodney Libraries), Israel travels around Ireland solving crimes, mysteries and domestic disputes in equal measure. This series has been called "hilarious and inventive".
By the way, everyone should go out and read a book in public today. As well as Library Week and Love your library day, today is BOOKQUAKE - where we want as many people as possible to get out and show their love of reading.
Ka kite.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Ask Me - You might be surprised.

The theme of Library week in 2010 is "Ask Me - You might be surprised". More often than not it is the librarians who are surprised by some of the questions and situations that arise. Here are a few examples.
  • A gentleman asked to look at books on spiders. The librarian led him to the shelves and pulled out several books for him to have a look at. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a jar with a very large, black, hairy and alive spider in it and announced "I'm trying to identify this one." (You can find spiders on the childrens and adults non fiction shelves under call number 595.4)
  • A woman came in looking for a DVD "The wardrobe". We couldn't find it. She then thought it might have been called "The cupboard". Still no luck. She thought for a while and then asked "What's it called when you are gay and you come out of something?". She went away happy with the DVD called "The closet".
  • All libraries can tell tales of people who come in "I'm looking for a book - I don't know the title or the author but it has a blue cover and I got it out from here two years ago".

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Celebrating a founder of Public Libraries

Public Libraries, not only in New Zealand but around the English speaking world, would not be what they are today if it was not for a Scotsman who dedicated his retirement to philanthropy aimed at education advancement and public interest. Because it is Library week (when we celebrate such things) and because it was the anniversary of his passing last week, today we are paying homage to Andrew Carnegie.
Andrew Carnegie was born on 25 November 1835 in Scotland, but the majority of his life was spent in America with the family emigarating to Pennsylvania in 1848. The majority of his fortune was made in the ironworks trade, whilst always retaining a love of learning and reading. He was an active author, particularly in the political arena. But it is on his "retirement" from the business world that he became an important (and astute) figure in the development of public libraries.
Carnegie very cleverly offered the capital for the building of libraries on the basis that the local authorities provided the land and a reasonable operating budget. It is estimated he assisted in the development of 3000 public libraries throughout America, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and the West Indies.
During his era, Carnegie was often called "the world's richest man". He was also one of the most generous and some sources estimate that over $350million was given away by him, quite an achievement in the late 19th and early 20th century. Andrew Carnegie passed away on 11th August 1919.
To find out more about Andrew Carnegie, here are some references for you.

It just remains to say - Thank you Mr Carnegie.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Ask Me!

It's Library week - a chance to celebrate libraries and librarians all over the country. It's not all about us though - we're doing some things for the kids...

On Wednesday at 10.30am it's Nationwide Storytime Session. Wellsford, Warkworth and Mahurangi East libraries will be joining other libraries throughout New Zealand for a Nationwide Storytime Session.
They'll be reading 'Mr Muggs The Library Cat' - a purrfect tail for children about a cat who lives in a library. Come and join the fun!

On Friday at 3.45pm Kumeu Library will be hosting Starfish Magic with their presentation of “The Pied Popstar”. The show features dancing, singing, cool costumes and live music and promise to be lots of fun for children aged 3 - 10 and their families. The session is free and you don’t need to register in advance to attend, just turn up on the day.

On Saturday as part of the Storylines Festival, workshops for children on story writing and illustrating are being held at Whangaparaoa Library.
The workshops are targeted at 8 – 16 year olds and are an opportunity for young people to develop story writing and illustrating skills. Participants will have the chance to work with noted New Zealand children's and authors and illustrators.
The Whangaparaoa Story Writers workshop will feature Omaha Beach author Lorraine Orman, winner of the 2005 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards Best First Book Award for Cross Tides, who will talk about ‘Creating Characters.’
Artist and illustrator Fraser Williamson will host a ‘Bring It To Life Will Ya!‘ workshop which will focus on illustrating children’s books for publishing. Fraser has illustrated a number of children’s books, including works by noted New Zealand author Joy Cowley.
Workshop placed are limited and need to be booked in advance at a cost of $15 per child. Bookings can be completed online at

Friday, 13 August 2010

Lisa's Top 5 Sophisticated Picture Books

Lisa and I have spent a couple of mornings this week up at Mahurangi College talking to the Year 7 and 8 students about what you can find at the library, and all the things you can do with your library card.
One of the things we were showing off were the picture books which are for older kids. These are what we call Sophisticated Picture books and you can find them in various places on our shelves. Some are still in the children's picture book sections, but others are shelved in childrens (and sometimes even teen) fiction or in the fun books.

Here is Lisa's Top 5.
  1. Woolvs in the Sitee. Margaret Wild. Illustrator Anne Spudvilas. You only have to look at the title of this book to realise that there is something a bit different here. The text is spelt phonetically but you read it quite easily. However in combination with the contrasting dark and light of the illustrations, it leaves you with a very weird feeling that completely suits this sinister story.

  2. Home and Away. John Marsden. Illustrator Matt Ottley. John Marsden writes a lot of children's fiction and is particularly well known for his series Tomorrow, when the war began. This picture book also has war as a central theme but with a slightly different approach as it follows the story of a family broken apart by war, famine, violence and prison. The illustrations are alternatively adult and childish which adds extra poignancy.

  3. Although a lot of picture books are classed sophisticated because of their content (such as the two above), they are not all like this. Lisa hadn't seen Where's My Cow? by Terry Pratchett and illustrated by Melvyn Grant until I showed it to her at the beginning of the week, but she quickly fell for it's charm. This is a "Discworld picture book for people of all sizes". It's the story of one of the Discworld characters reading a book to his young son. However he can't help embellishing the story to make it a little less boring.

  4. If you asked a room full of people Why did the chicken cross the road? you would probably get a whole range of answers. This book asks 14 of the "funniest and most talented artists around" for their ideas and this book is the result. It is a simple idea, well executed.

  5. The list would not be completed with one of our favourite's Tadpole's Promise by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Tony Ross. This is a book we often read aloud to older classes and we often see the teachers chuckling away as well. A picture book which really does have a twist in the tale.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Library Week 16-22 August

Library Week is a week-long celebration of libraries and librarianship in New Zealand taking place in libraries all across the country. Library Week, run by LIANZA, has been going for over 35 years. It honours the important role libraries play in our community.

Get involved online by telling New Zealand what surprises you about your library or entering one of the competitions.

Look out for some of the more surprising questions we've had to answer in the library on the blog next week.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Library Roadshow in the North

Today (and Friday) it's the turn of Mahurangi College to receive a visit from the Rodney Libraries Roadshow. Kia ora koutou. The Warkworth Librarians will be talking to the Year 7 and 8's about the Library, what you can get at the library (you might be surprised) and have some fun with books and stories as well.

We'll also be talking to you about some competitions that are happening next week for Library week and your chance to win some fantastic prizes. We look forward to seeing you there.

Ka kite

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Hello Taupaki

Kia ora katou. The Rodney Libraries Roadshow heads to Taupaki Primary School this morning. Tina and Anne look forward to meeting you all there, entertaining you with some story reading and storytelling, and telling you a bit about your local library.

It starts with a Bang!

Last year I discovered Australian author Greig Beck and his first book Beneath the Dark Ice (click here to read my review of that title). So it was with interest that I awaited the second adventure of Alex Hunter. It landed on my desk on Friday night.

Return of the Prophet starts with a BANG! And it is a big one. We are talking Black Hole intensity. From there we are taken on a journey at break neck speed that meant I hardly put the book down all weekend. This book is set in the Middle East so you can envision the trigger happy warring nations, religious fanatics and competition to locate the technology that made such a bang. Throw in some science (which even I could follow), mythology and a touch of Dr Who (time travel, alternate universe, monsters) for an enthralling read. The characters, including the new ones, remain well drawn so that the conclusion is satisfying.

It can be hard to back up such an excellent debut and in the past I have often been disappointed by the second book. This is certainly not the case here. In fact I think expectations have been exceeded.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Volunteer for the Rugby World Cup 2011

New Zealand will welcome the world next year as over 60,000 international visitors arrive to enjoy Rugby World Cup 2011. The organisers say the "...Tournament will succeed through the efforts of all New Zealanders – we will be a nation of four million hosts and volunteers will play an important role in helping the country to welcome our guests." To achieve this they're looking for a team of 5,000+ volunteers to be the face of New Zealand, on the ground, at stadiums and out in the streets, from one end of the country to the other.
Rugby New Zealand 2011 is calling on the Rugby community to be part of this once in a life time opportunity. You are able to both volunteer and attend matches (if you have tickets). They need the experience, skills and passion that you already give to the sport week in, week out.
You have to be at least 17 to be a volunteer. There are many different roles on offer for those who are passionate about our country and willing to give their time and energy to support this fantastic event. Registrations close 24 September 2010.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Janetta's Top 5 for Friday

Janetta is just one of the fantastic volunteers who help us keep Rodney Libraries running smoothly. Her literary claim to fame is that she once went on a date with Wilbur Smith but that is part of her history from a previous life in South Africa. She has helped me out on with the Top 5 on Friday today and as you will see truly reads around the world.

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. A "gripping" tale of America's south and the search for black equality in the 1960's. Limited and persecuted by racial divides in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, three women, including an African-American maid, her sassy and chronically unemployed friend, and a recently graduated white woman, team up for a clandestine project.

2. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. Fantastic read. "One of those books that stick in your mind". A tale reminiscent of "Hamlet" that also celebrates the alliance between humans and dogs follows speech-disabled Wisconsin youth Edgar, who bonds with three yearling canines and struggles to prove that his sinister uncle is responsible for his father's death.

3. Eaarth: Making a life on a tough new planet by Bill McKibben. This non-fiction book is described by Janetta as "quite terrifying and thought provoking". McKibben's earliest warnings about global warming went largely unheeded. In this book, he argues that we can meet the challenges of a new "Eaarth"--still recognizable but suddenly and violently out of balance

4. The Road Home by Rose Tremain. Janetta travels to Europe with this 2008 Orange Book award winner. Lev is on his way to Britain to seek work, so that he can send money back to Eastern Europe to support his mother and little daughter but he finds himself struggling with the mysterious rituals of 'Englishness', and the fashions and fads of the London scene.

5. Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. A different way of looking at food. "Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, this book (released May 2007) tells the story of how our family was changed by one year of deliberately eating food produced in the place where we live..."

Thanks Janetta. Your selection shows that the world comes home when you read a book.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Library events in August

There are plenty of things happening in Rodney Libraries during August. Here is a taste.

Friday 5th August: Starfish Magic present their Pied Popstar Workshop and Show at Mahurangi East Library starting at 3.45pm

Tuesday 10th August: Book Club at Mahurangi East Library from 2 - 4 pm. This book club runs on the second Tuesday of every month. Talk to Rosemary for further details.

Friday 13th August: Wellsford Library hosts their regular book club at 10am. Later on in the afternoon it is their turn to host Starfish Magic with the Pied Popstar Workshop (at the Wellsford Community Centre).

Friday 20th August: Starfish Magic head west, this time visiting the Kumeu Library.

Saturday 21st August: As part of the annual Storylines Festival, Whangaparaoa are hosting two workshops. First up from 12:30pm – 2:00pm, Lorraine Orman runs a writing workshop "Creating characters". Learn how to make your characters jump off the page. Then from 2:30pm – 4:00pm Fraser Williamson will run something for the artists - Bring It To Life Will Ya! Illustrating children's books for publishing. From a script, complete a character study, learn about layouts and put together a rough draft of book illustrations. There is a cost of $15 for each of these workshops.

As well as that all our regular storytimes, rhymetimes and Wriggle and Rhymes continue. For full details of whats on and where, check out our Library Events calendar on the Rodney District Website.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Rodney "Poetry Aloud" Winners

Rodney Libraries National Poetry Day ‘Poetry Aloud’ competition winners have been announced for 2010.

James Logue of Tomarata School was the overall winner. Alex de Beer of Red Beach School and Regan James from Helensville were both placed second. James won an 4 Gigabyte video MP3 Player and Alex and Regan both received a 4 Gigabyte MP3 Player.

The competition was a Rodney Libraries initiative as part of the build up to National Poetry Day, which is celebrated on 30 July.

National poetry day has been marked for a number of years. Two years ago Rodney Libraries decided to embrace the new technology now available to local residents through public access computers within libraries and launch a ‘Podcast Your Poetry’ competition.

The competition was a way to bring the objective of ational poetry day, ‘Poetry shouldn't stay on the page - it needs to be shared and read aloud,’ to life within Rodney. Podcasting gives children and teens the opportunity to share their creativity with others around Rodney District and New Zealand.

The competition ran from 1 – 30 June. 75 entries were received in this year’s competition, which was open to children in years 4 to 13.

“The number of classrooms entering was great to see,” says Rachel Fisher of Helensville Library who was the National Poetry Day Poetry Aloud Co-ordinator. “Tomarata School have always been a big supporter of this competition but this year has seen other schools come on board such as Red Beach School. We are pleased to be able to offer them a competition which fits in with their school curricula.”

Pauline Mee, a Helensville poet who judged the competition commented that, “the poetry and prose was full of beautifully descriptive use of imagery and evocative story telling. It was thoroughly enjoyable to listen to everybody’s work.”

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Ngä Kupu Ora Mäori Book Awards

Winners of the University's second annual Ngä Kupu Ora Mäori Book Awards have been decided by public vote and include a Massey PhD candidate, a internationally-renowned author and a book commemorating the Taranaki land wars.

Voting in the awards, held to coincide with Mäori Language Week, closed last night and attracted more than double the number of votes as last year.

Awards organiser University Kaihautü Mäori (Mäori Library Services Manager) Spencer Lilley says the idea for book awards to recognise and celebrate Mäori literature was a result of other major book awards failing to do so.

“It’s heartening to see the growing interest and the continuing high calibre of finalists, Mr Lilley says. “Although there were fewer categories then the six included at the inaugural awards last year it was pleasing to see that voting figures more than doubled.”

Books on Mäori topics published between June last year and May 30 were selected as finalists in four categories: art, architecture and design; biography; history; and te reo Mäori.

Massey PhD candidate and graduate Julie Paama-Pengelley is the winner of the award for Art, Architecture and Design for her book Mäori Art and Design: Weaving painting, carving and architechture, which traces the origins and evolution of art and design in historic Mäori culture.

Internationally-acclaimed fiction writer Patricia Grace took out the biography award for her book Ned and Katina, the love story between Ned Nathan, a soldier in the 28th Mäori Battalion solider, and his wife Katina, whom he met in Crete in 1941.

Two of the winning books, the history and te reo Mäori award winners, were published by Massey alumni Robyn and Brian Bargh of Huia Publishers in Wellington.

The history award was won by Contested Ground: Te Whenua i Tohea, The Taranaki Land Wars 1860-1881 edited by Kelvin Day and published to coincide with an exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the wars.

The te reo Mäori award was won by People of the Land: Images and Mäori Proverbs of Aotearoa New Zealand written by Sir Hirini Moko Mead and Lady June Te Rina Mead. The book contains pepehä and imagery and is aimed at those wishing to gain an insight into Mäori wisdom and values.

Monday, 2 August 2010

2010 Man Booker Longlist

It is a baker's dozen that was announced by the Man Booker Judges last week as their longlist for the 2010 award.

A total of 138 books, 14 of which were called in by the judges, were considered for the ‘Man Booker Dozen' longlist of 13 books.

Peter Carey - Parrot and Olivier in America (Faber and Faber)
Emma Donoghue - Room (Pan MacMillan - Picador)
Helen Dunmore - The Betrayal (Penguin - Fig Tree)
Damon Galgut - In a Strange Room (Grove Atlantic - Atlantic Books)
Howard Jacobson - The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)
Andrea Levy - The Long Song (Headline Publishing Group - Headline Review)
Tom McCarthy - C (Random House - Jonathan Cape)
David Mitchell - The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (Hodder & Stoughton - Sceptre)
Lisa Moore - February (Random House - Chatto & Windus)
Paul Murray - Skippy Dies (Penguin - Hamish Hamilton)
Rose Tremain - Trespass (Random House - Chatto & Windus)
Christos Tsiolkas - The Slap (Grove Atlantic - Tuskar Rock)
Alan Warner - The Stars in the Bright Sky (Random House - Jonathan Cape)

This list will be narrowed down on 7 September and the winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2010 will be revealed on 12 October.

For more information visit the Man Booker website