I had to share this little gem, courtesy of the New Zealand Society of Authors’ newsletter. It is the official guff that accompanied the announcement of Jenny Bornholdt winning the Best NZ Poetry Collection 2009 award for The Rocky Shore:
In this collection, Bornholdt, one of New Zealand’s most celebrated poets, ‘disobeys the rules that poetry should be compressed rather than sprawling, that it should avoid the personal, that it should eschew ‘unpoetic’ elements, that it should not include digressions or speculations about imponderables,’ says 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards judges’ convenor, Dr. Mark Williams.
‘Bornholdt uses speech as we know it in everyday life, not lifted into the poetic, but made poetry by all that it is allowed to contain.’
Let’s just look at that again, with a quick translation into English. The three judges (Dr Mark Williams, journalist Margo White and novelist and reviewer Jane Westaway) consider that this collection:
- is physically prose
- doesn’t use poetic devices
- deals with mundanities
- does so in flat language
So, in other words, they agree with me. (?!)
The difference is, they’ve decided that this is the best example of a collection of New Zealand poetry published this year.