Congratulations to David Eggleton whose book The Conch Trumpet has won the prestigious 2015/2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Award for Best Book of Poetry, worth $10,000.
David Eggleton was earlier awarded the 2015 Janet Frame Literary Trust Poetry Award (worth $5,000) and the Frame trustees and the members of our advisory panel are all delighted that The Conch Trumpet, a truly outstanding work, is gaining such recognition and reward.
This is not the first time that a New Zealand author has been awarded the Janet Frame Literary Trust Award and has gone on to win the premier New Zealand Book Award: Rhian Gallagher (JFLT Poetry Award 2008) won the NZ Book Award in 2012 for her poetry volume Shift and Alison Wong (JFLT Fiction Award 2009) won the 2010 NZ Book Award for her novel As the Earth Turns Silver.
In 2014 Geoff Cochrane (JFLT Poetry Award 2009) was awarded the lucrative Arts Foundation Laureate Award worth $50,000.
2016 is the first year the New Zealand Book Awards have been sponsored by Ockham. Previous sponsors have been New Zealand Post, Montana Wines, and food processing company Wattie (later Goodman Fielder Wattie).
I think I speak for many of the winners and finalists of the NZ Book Awards when I personally admit that my favourite sponsor was the wine company. Janet Frame's posthumous volume of poetry The Goose Bath won the Montana New Zealand Book Award for Best Poetry Book in 2007 and as one of the editors of that volume I had the great honour and pleasure to accept the prize on Janet Frame's behalf. The prize packages in those days included bottles of excellent bubbly! And the celebration dinners were well lubricated!