Thursday, 2 April 2015

April newsletter

Two new titles in April

Vincent O'Sullivan's long writing career includes seventeen collections of poetry which sit alongside his novels, biography, plays and short stories. Being Here: Selected Poems is the first book to survey the entire span of his poetry, from Bearings (1973) to new poems first published in this volume.

Praise for Vincent O'Sullivan:
'You can't ask much more of a poet than wit, profundity and elegance and they're all here in spades.'
– Chris Miller

'There is a kind of luminous spirituality about O'Sullivan's poetry, that long after you have read the poems, continues to reside in the objects or situations the poems describe.'
– Anna Jackson on Lucky Table

Vincent's most recent collection of poetry, Us, Then, won the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Award for Poetry and he is the current New Zealand Poet Laureate.

Being Here is published as a hardback and features a striking Karl Maughan painting on the dust jacket. $60, available online and in all good bookstores from 9 April.

We launch Being Here at 5.30pm on Wednesday 15 April at the National Library (see side panel for details). All welcome.

The trappings of fame, the power of social media and dysfunctional relationships play out in Bridget van der Zjipp’s vivid new novel In the Neighbourhood of Fame.

The novel is centred around rock musician Jed Jordan, whose song ‘Captain of the Rules’ made him famous over ten years ago. Jed’s story is told by three female narrators, each with a different take on his fame: his childhood friend who is caught up in a long-held sense of admiration for him; his theatre manager wife who is frustrated with his drifting; and the 15-year-old who meets him in the dog park and finds that when she talks about him people are interested.

“I was playing around with the idea that fame is not something you possess yourself, it’s always placed upon you by others, and people come to somebody else’s fame through their own slant,” says Bridget.

In the Neighbourhood of Fame is Bridget's second novel. Her first novel, Misconduct, was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Best First Book Prize and for the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards Best First Book of Fiction. She lives in Auckland.

Published in paperback ($30) and available from our online store and in all good bookstores from 9 April.

We launch the novel in Auckland on Wednesday 8 April, 6.30pm, Portland Public House (see side bar for details). All welcome.

Bridget will also be appearing at the Auckland Writers Festival 2015 at a free reading with Tracy Farr, Laurence Fearnley and Tim Winton.

Gathering Evidence continues to gather prizes

Congratulations to Caoilinn Hughes. Gathering Evidence has been named a finalist in the Royal Society of New Zealand 2015 Science Book Prize. It is one of five titles shortlisted for the prize which is awarded to a title 'which communicates scientific concepts in an interesting and readable way for a general audience.' The prize winner will be announced at the Auckland Writers Festival in May. We were delighted to hear from Caoilinn that Gathering Evidence has also won the Irish Times' Strong/Shine Award for Best First Collection. Gathering Evidence was also a finalist in the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards.

Auckland Writers Festival 2015

The international line-up for the AWF15 looks fantastic. We are very pleased that four writers from VUP's stable will be attending. Airini Beautrais, Bridget van der Zijpp, Helena Wisniewska Brow, Stephanie de Montalk and Wystan Curnow will be featured on panels and at reading events. See the full programme of events.

We are delighted to see that the Nigel Cox Unity Books Award is being presented at the AWF15. This award was founded by Unity Books Auckland owner Jo McColl and Susanna Andrew to commemorate Nigel's love of writing and reading. The award is given to a 'New Zealand writer unknowingly selected for the prize based on their "exceptional way with words".'

Keep up with our forthcoming titles

If you want to know what we will be publishing later in the year, you can check out our forthcoming titles webpage which we update throughout the year. As soon as the myriad tasks of publishing are finalised we put them up on this page. We are also now including sample chapters so readers can get a taste of the books to come.

Events in April

Book launch: In the Neighbourhood of Fame
Bridget van der Zijpp's new novel will be launched at 6.30pm on Weds 8 April at The Portland Public House, 463 New North Rd, Kingsland, Auckland.

Poetry event: Being Here Together
Tuesday 14 April, 12.10pm–1.10pm. Six local poets join Poet Laureate Vincent O'Sullivan at National Library, Programme Room, Ground Floor, 70 Molesworth St, Wellington. Poets include: Morgan Bach, Claire Orchard, Lynn Davidson, Harley Bell, Catherine English and Margaret Moores.

Book launch: Being Here, Selected Poems
Vincent O'Sullivan's new Selected Poems will be launched at 5.30pm on Weds 15 April at the National Library, Ground Floor, 70 Molesworth St, Wellington.

This is a double launch with Steele Roberts for Let the Writer Stand: The work of Vincent O’Sullivan, edited by Judith Dell Panny.

Author event
Helen Riddiford, biographer of George Evans (A Blighted Fame) presents a talk about Evans: ‘Nui Nui  Rangatira’:  Dr George Evans, his role in the New Zealand Company and his Relationship with Māori.” At 1pm, Friday 17 April at the Wellington City Library, Ground floor.

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