Dunedin's O'Sullivan shortlisted for NZ Book Awards poetry prize

Dunedin poet and New Zealand Poet Laureate Vincent O'Sullivan has been short-listed for the poetry prize in the 2014 New Zealand Book Awards, announced yesterday.

His collection, Us, then, explores experience, memory, belief and ways of seeing things.

O'Sullivan previously won New Zealand Book Awards poetry prizes in 1999, for Seeing You Asked, and 2005, for Nice morning for it, Adam.

He also won the 1994 fiction award for his novel Let the River Stand.

Dunedin-born-and-raised writer Charlotte Randall, who now lives on Banks Peninsula, was short-listed in this year's fiction category for The Bright Side of my Condition, which is based on a true story about four escaped Norfolk Island convicts who were deposited on the Snares, south of Stewart Island.

The judging panel comprised artist Dick Frizzell, Radio New Zealand presenter Kim Hill, poet and novelist Elizabeth Smither and literary critic Peter Simpson.

Category winners receive $10,000 and the overall winner receives $15,000.

The winner of the New Zealand Book of the Year will be announced in Wellington on August 17.

The finalists are. -

Fiction: The Bright Side of my Condition by Charlotte Randall, The Last Days of the National Costume by Anne Kennedy, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, Max Gate by Damien Wilkins.

Poetry: Gathering Evidence by Caoilinn Hughes, Heartland by Michele Leggott, Horse with Hat by Marty Smith, Us, then by Vincent O'Sullivan.

Illustrated non-fiction: Coast: A New Zealand journey by Bruce Ansley and Jane Ussher, Greer Twiss: Sculptor by Greer Twiss, Dr Robin Woodward and Haru Sameshima, New Zealand and the First World War 1914-1919 by Damien Fenton, Promoting Prosperity: The art of early New Zealand advertising by Peter Alsop and Gary Stewart.

General non-fiction: A History of Silence by Lloyd Jones, Peter McLeavey: The life and times of a New Zealand art dealer by Jill Trevelyan, The Mighty Totara: The life and times of Norman Kirk by David Grant, Tragedy at Pike River Mine by Rebecca Macfie.

Booksellers' choice: Beyond the State: New Zealand state houses from modest to modern, by Bill McKay, Andrea Stevens and Simon Devitt, Molesworth: Stories from New Zealand's largest high-country station by Harry Broad and Rob Suisted, The Beginner's Guide to Hunting and Fishing in New Zealand by Paul Adamson, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.

A $5000 people's choice award will be decided by public vote.

nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

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