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Otago well represented in 2018 Ockhams shortlist

Tuesday, 6 March 2018 3:47pm

West cover small

A widely praised collection from a leading New Zealand poet, and an exciting new environmental history of the settlement of the Otago Peninsula, have been shortlisted for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Both books are published by Otago University Press.

The Yield is the fifth collection of poetry by Dunedin writer Sue Wootton, and was described by critic Nicholas Reid as 'one of the most satisfying, intelligent, well-crafted and involving volumes of New Zealand poetry I have read in the last decade'.

Sue's poetry has been widely anthologised. She has also published a short story collection, a children's book, and her debut novel, Strip, which was longlisted in the 2017 Ockham Awards.

The other shortlisted Otago University Press book is the The Face of Nature: An environmental history of the Otago Peninsula by Jonathan West. The Face of Nature was recommended in the New Zealand Booksellers Association blog as 'essential for anyone with a love of, and interest in the Otago Peninsula.'


'Balanced more equitably between Māori and Pākehā sources than any other major work on the area, this book is an important contribution to New Zealand's environmental history,' says Atholl Anderson of the Australian National University.

Wellington-based West grew up in and around Dunedin, and attended the University of Otago.

Otago University Press publisher Rachel Scott says the Press is proud to have two major publications recognized at this level.

She says it is a reflection of the strong intellectual and literary culture of Otago, acknowledged by UNESCO City of Literature status being granted to Dunedin in 2015.

The winners of the 2018 Ockham Awards will be announced on 15 May at the Auckland Writers Festival.