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Eggleton wins prestigious PM’s writing award

Sculpture outside Centre for Innovation

Tuesday 11 October 2016 4:49pm

David Eggleton PM image
Prime Minister John Key awards David Eggleton with the 2016 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in poetry. Photo: Neil McKenzie.

Writer and former University of Otago Burns Fellow David Eggleton is one of three winners of the 2016 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in poetry.

The other 2016 winners, announced yesterday, are Marilyn Duckworth for fiction and Atholl Anderson for non-fiction.

David says the award win came from “out of the blue” and was unexpected.

“I feel tremendously honoured to have been selected for the award. It’s good for poetry and good for Otago to get this sort of recognition for literary endeavours down here.”

The awards recognise notable literary achievement by New Zealand writers who have made a significant contribution to New Zealand literature in the genres of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Creative New Zealand's list of all previous winners can be found here.

Arts Council Chairman Dr Dick Grant says: “The Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement differ from other prizes in that they recognise a career and a significant body of acclaimed work, rather than a single work of literature. The contribution of nominees to the literary community over time is also taken into consideration.”

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Wellington on Wednesday 12 October. The three award recipients will read and discuss their work in a free event with broadcaster Kathryn Ryan at Unity Books, Wellington, on Thursday 13 October, 12–12.45 pm.

David's most recent collection of poetry, The Conch Trumpet, published by Otago University Press (OUP), won the Ockham New Zealand Book Award for Poetry in 2016. He is well-known as a performance poet and as editor of both Landfall and Landfall Review Online. As one of his nominators commented; “He has, for over 30 years, made a vital contribution to the poetry community throughout New Zealand. He is truly a bard, a bard with street credentials. He sings our nationhood.”

OUP publisher Rachel Scott says she is delighted for David.

“Hot on the heels of his winning the Ockham NZ Book Award for Poetry, this award is evidence that David Eggleton’s work is finally getting the recognition it deserves. His poetry is consistently witty, wry, surprising and wonderfully entertaining. This award is hugely deserved and I couldn’t be more thrilled for him.”

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