Saturday, July 26, 2008

Congratulations to Sophie Brathwaite, winner of the $20 gift voucher for July's plastic bag recycling draw.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Congratulations to Montana Award Winners - Hooray Mary, and of course the winner Charlotte Grimshaw.

We at Rona Gallery would like to congratulate all the winners of the Montana Book awards,

Most especially the overall winner, Charlotte Grimshaw for Opportunity - although Richard would like to say that he hopes the next edition will be published in bigger print!

And of course, Mary McCallum, (who is usually found in Rona Books on a Thursday) won the Society of Authors best first book AND readers' choice award for her novel, The Blue.

Anyway we've been very excited for Mary and we can't wait to see her next novel, which is apparently in the making, but very early days yet. Her blog is and it's always packed with news and events and books and excitement.

Congratulations also to the other winners:

Janet Hunt: Montana Medal for non-fiction and the environment category for Wetlands of New Zealand - A Bitter-Sweet Story.
Editors Piripi Walker and Huriana Raven: Short story collection Te Tu a Te Toka: He Ieretanga no nga Tai e Wha won the $5000 inaugural Maori language prize for .

Janet Charman: Poetry, Cold Snack
Judy Siers: Biography, The Life and Times of James Walter Chapman-Taylor.
Hilary and John Mitchell: History, Te Tau Ihu O Te Waka Volume II: Te Ara Hou - The New Society .
Gregory O'Brien: Reference and anthology, A Nest of Singing Birds: 100 years of the New Zealand School Journal

Lifestyle and contemporary culture: Mau Moko: The World of Maori Tattoo by Ngahuia Te Awekotuku with Linda Waimarie Nikora, Mohi Rua and Rolinda Karapu.
Bill Hammond: Illustrative, Jingle Jangle Morning by Jennifer Hay, with Ron Brownson, Chris Knox and Laurence Aberhart, designed by Aaron Beehre.
Jessica Le Bas: Best first book award for poetry, Incognito.
Alan Clarke: Best first book award for non-fiction: The Great Sacred Forest of Tane - Te Wao Tapu Nui a Tane: A Natural Pre-History of Aotearoa New Zealand.

This post is by Alicia Ponder.

Friday, July 18, 2008

BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Pop-Up Book of Invasions

Review by Mary McCallum: It didn't win the Montana NZ Poetry Award today but it's still gorgeous. I got it for my birthday and fell in love with a poem that it fell open to which began 'A book is like an/egg...'

Another firm favourite already is Midden which begins: 'Words are piled deep/ here. Middens of /language, dungheaps/ of song...' Farrell is talking about Ireland, the home of her ancestors.

Her publisher AUP says:
The Book of Invasions - Lebor Gabála Érenn - is a compilation of manuscripts describing the very specific discovery of Ireland ('on the fifteenth, on a Saturday') following the Creation and the Flood. The Pop-Up Book of Invasions is Fiona Farrell's poetic response to a six-month stay in Ireland as inaugural recipient of the Rathcoola Residency for Australians and New Zealanders in County Cork.

'Part travelogue, part family record, part song and myth and history rewritten, this collection revels and laments in equal measure in a landscape deeply inscribed with narrative. The poet also remembers her Irish father now dead who emigrated to the Antipodes and all the many migrations or 'invasions' of the past and the present. A beautifully constructed, thoughtful, topical and original book.'

My mother who has Irish ancestors too read it in an evening and couldn't stop talking about it when I saw her. She loved the poem about Farrell's daughter who had dreadlocks not unlike the matted multi-coloured hair of her ancestors. She especially liked the wonderful notes at the end which fleshed out the poems.

Highly recommended.

And now I'd better go and read Janet Charman's Cold Snack. She was announced today as the winner of the Montana NZ Poetry Award.

But first a tribute to the young poets who came to the Gallery today and wrote some wonderful poems around the theme of the beach. Amelia, Clem, Naomi and Xanthe's poems are on the wall for people to read. Their names sound like a poem on their own!

Friday, July 11, 2008

BOOK OF THE WEEK: Street without a Name

Our book of the week is Kapka Kassabova's wonderful new travel memoir. Born in Bulgaria, Kassabova settled in New Zealand as a teenager, published poetry and two novels, and has moved to Scotland.
In A Street Without a Name she chronicles her family's life on the muddy outskirts of Sofia under Communism in the 1980s, and how she felt returning to her homeland as an adult.
The writing is curious, funny, unflinching, and poignant, capturing the absurdities and idiosyncracies of this hidden country to the north of Greece. Kapka the small girl asked why everything in Bulgaria was so ugly, Kapka the adult tries to understand why that was so.
This book is for anyone who wants to know more about Europe's newest member or who simply wants to spend time with the perfect travelling companion. (Review: Mary McCallum)
Street without a Name. Childhood and other Misadventures in Bulgaria. By Kapka Kassabova (Penguin) $28


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