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Three Otago University Press books long-listed

Tuesday 2 February 2021 2:06pm

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Brent Coutts' Crossing the Lines: The Story of Three Homosexual New Zealand Soldiers in World War II, Martin Edmond’s Bus Stops on the Moon: Red Mole Days 1974-1980, and Elizabeth Morton's This is Your Real Name have all been long-listed in the Ockham Book Awards.

Three Otago University Press books have made it on the long list for the 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

This is Your Real Name by Elizabeth Morton was long-listed for the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry. Brent Coutt’s Crossing the Lines: The Story of Three Homosexual New Zealand Soldiers in World War II and Martin Edmond’s Bus Stops on the Moon: Red Mole Days 1974-1980 were both long-listed for the General Non-Fiction Award.

“All three of these books have had superb reviews. Brent Coutts’ book about homosexual soldiers even gained him an invitation to talk to NZ Army recruits! Books can make a difference. The inclusion of Liz Morton’s book in the Poetry longlist was no surprise. Her poetry has a real edge – she’s definitely one to watch.”

The Ockham Book Awards celebrate the literary works of New Zealand citizens. The shortlist will be announced 3 March.

Otago University Press Publisher Rachel Scott says it’s an honour to have the books listed alongside such high-calibre titles and it’s recognition for all the hard work of the authors and the Otago University Press team, in bringing the stories into the world.

“However much we tell ourselves that awards don’t matter, the Ockham Book Awards are seen as an arbiter within the literary scene. Everyone aspires to make the longlist – and especially the shortlist!”

“All three of these books have had superb reviews. Brent Coutts’ book about homosexual soldiers even gained him an invitation to talk to NZ Army recruits! Books can make a difference. The inclusion of Liz Morton’s book in the Poetry longlist was no surprise. Her poetry has a real edge – she’s definitely one to watch.”

Elizabeth Morton’s This is Your Real Name is her second collection of poetry and explores want, need, despair, love and politics.

Brent Coutts’ Crossing the Lines: The Story of Three Homosexual New Zealand Soldiers in World War II explores the previously untold story of New Zealand homosexual solidiers through the stories of Harold Robinson, Ralph Dyer and Douglas Morison.

Meanwhile, Martin Edmond’s Bus Stops on the Moon: Red Mole Days 1974-1980 follows on from his first memoir The Dreaming Land, and gives a participant’s-eye view of the early years of Alan Brunton and Sally Rodwell’s avant-garde theatre troupe Red Mole.

Three Otago University Press books were also long-listed last year, but none went onto the shortlist. The year before that there were five titles long-listed, and Hudson & Halls by Joanne Drayton won the General Non-fiction Award.