I was totally chuffed to hear today that Lynn Freeman, who was the MC for the awards ceremony, quoted some of my poem 'Married to genius' (which is in the voice of John Middleton Murry, Katherine Mansfield's husband, and is about their relationship). Lynn interviewed me on National Radio the other week about My Iron Spine, and mentioned she liked this poem.
Anyway, the really good news about the awards is that the fabulous Julian Novitz won the premier prize with his story 'Three couples'. This makes me happy because I think Julian's writing is fantastic and I think he deserves all the recognition he gets. He's started good, and he's getting better.
Also, it makes me feel slightly smug, because I clearly recognised talent when I published one of his very first short stories in JAAM 16. I met him a year or two later when he came up to Wellington.
I could rant at length about his first book, My Real Life and Other Stories, which I loved and gave to lots of my friends. It was a collection of short stories, which were good individually, but because they were interconnected, the book had more resonance – a bit like a novel. His first novel, Holocaust Tours, was at least as well-written, but perhaps the darker subject matter made me reluctant to hand it out as presents. But I was really impressed with the thinking and writing behind it, and thought it deserved more attention than it got.
The other winners were Joseph Ryan, who won the novice category, and Clare Tanton, who won the young writer's prize. More info here.