Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

Ockham NZ Book Awards 2022 winners announced

The winners of the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards have been announced.

The NZ$60,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction, Aotearoa New Zealand’s richest writing prize, went to Wellington writer Whiti Hereaka for Kurangaituku (Huia Publishers), a contemporary retelling of the traditional Te Arawa story ‘Hatupatu and the Bird-Woman’ told from the perspective of the ‘monster’ Kurangaituku.

Fiction category convenor Rob Kidd said Kurangaituku is ‘an extraordinary novel, unashamedly literary and utterly innovative’.

‘It’s an epic poem of a novel, resonant of Māori oral traditions, that gives a voice, form and a name to the bird-woman from the Māori myth. The ogress Kurangaituku tells us not only her side of the story but everything she knows about Te Ao Māori. Kurangaituku is poetic, intense, clever and sexy as hell. It’s also an important novel. A game changer.’

Chosen from shortlists announced in March, the winners in each category of the Ockhams are:

Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction (NZ$60,000)

  • Kurangaituku (Whiti Hereaka, Huia Publishers)

General Nonfiction Award (NZ$10,000)

  • Voices from the New Zealand Wars | He Reo nō ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa (Vincent O’Malley, Bridget Williams Books)

Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry (NZ$10,000)

  • Tumble (Joanna Preston, Otago University Press)

Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Award for Illustrated Nonfiction (NZ$10,000)

  • Dressed: Fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840 to 1910 (Claire Regnault, Te Papa Press)

Hubert Church Prize for a best first book of fiction (NZ$2500)

  • Greta & Valdin (Rebecca K Reilly, Te Herenga Waka University Press)

Jessie Mackay Prize for a best first book of poetry (NZ$2500)

  • Whai (Nicole Titihuia Hawkins, We are Babies Press).

Judith Binney Prize for a best first work of illustrated nonfiction (NZ$2500)

  • The Architect and the Artists: Hackshaw, McCahon, Dibble (Bridget Hackshaw, Massey University Press)

The E H McCormick Prize for a best first work of general nonfiction (NZ$2500)

  • The Alarmist: Fifty years measuring climate change (Dave Lowe, Te Herenga Waka University Press).

The winners were announced at a live ceremony in Auckland on 11 May. For more information about the awards and this year’s winners, see the NZ Book Awards Trust website.


Category: Awards Local news