Janet Frame Poetry Prize Announcement
28 August 2015
Photograph by Liz March
Dunedin poet David Eggleton has been named as the recipient of the 2015 Janet Frame Literary Trust Award for Poetry. He will be presented with a cheque for $5,000 at a National Poetry Day Event to be held in Dunedin tonight in honour of Janet Frame’s birthday. Janet Frame founded her charitable trust in 1999 and bequeathed an endowment fund to benefit New Zealand writers. Since Frame’s death in Dunedin in 2004 her estate has given out $110,000 in grants to writers as well as donations to literary causes.
David Eggleton said: “I am thrilled to receive this special Award, both because of what it means in terms of recognition and support for my own writing, and because Janet Frame is one of my favourite authors, a writer whose work speaks volumes about being a New Zealander, while challenging the orthodoxies. She is undoubtedly a major figure in world literature. To be associated with her legacy in this way is a great honour.”
Raised in Fiji and South Auckland but now based in Dunedin, David Eggleton is a poet, critic, editor and free-lance journalist who has published seven books of poetry, one of short fiction and many more non-fiction works. He first came to prominence as a performance poet wielding vernacular rhythms and eclectic subject matter into satirical and lyrical incantations that have been described as ‘mesmeric’. His work has been widely anthologised. His previous accolades include awards for Best First Book of Poetry, Best Book Reviewer, and ‘Street Entertainer of the Year’ (London, 1985). He held the Robert Burns Fellowship in 1990. Eggleton is the current editor of the New Zealand literary magazine Landfall. His latest book of poems ‘The Conch Trumpet’ was published by Otago UniversityPress earlier this year.
Janet Frame Literary Trust Chair Pamela Gordon said: “We are very pleased to acknowledge David Eggleton’s significant contribution to a vibrant contemporary New Zealand literary scene. He has been carving out a versatile, robust and courageous career, combining poetry with music, performance, art, film and multi-media. His is an independent and yet inclusive voice of Aotearoa New Zealand set in its Pasifika context, offering swathes of a beautiful lyricism combined with a searing honesty. His latest work ‘Conch Trumpet’ shows his poetic voice at its very best and the trustees felt that this outstanding achievement should be recognised.”
David Eggleton poem and its translation into Polish projected onto a city wall in Krakow, Poland (eMultipoetry)