Author(s): Vincent O'Sullivan
Winner of the Poetry category in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2005. The judges said that OÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Sullivan was an extraordinary voice in New Zealand literature, and perhaps, only perhaps, this is best seen in his poetry. Vincent O'Sullivan is one of New Zealand's leading writers. He graduated from the universities of Auckland and Oxford. He is the author of two novels - Let the River Stand, which won the 1994 Montana Book Awards, and Believers to the Bright Coast - and many plays, collections of short stories and poems. His poetry collection, Seeing You Asked won the Poetry prize at the 1999 Montana New Zealand Book Awards, the same year that Believers to the Bright Coast was runner up for the Deutz Medal for Fiction. His biography of John Mulgan, Long Journey to the Border, was a finalist in last year's awards. O'Sullivan has a well-earned reputation as a thoughtful and incisive editor and critic. He has been awarded a series of writer's residencies and research fellowships and in 1994 he was the Katherine Mansfield fellow. He was appointed Director of Victoria University's Stout Research Centre in 1997 and is now an Emeritus Professor of English. O'Sullivan was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2000. In June 2004 he was awarded the Creative New Zealand Michael King WritersÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â� Fellowship. He lives in Wellington. JudgesÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â� Comments: Writing in Landfall Michael Husle described an OÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Sullivan poem as Ã�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�the marriage of relaxed language and form to radical subject matter.Ã�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â� This most recent collection certainly bears this out. The poems in this collection are, as described by Peter Simpson [category advisor], Ã�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�subtly linked by a series of aesthetic, philosophical and metaphysical preoccupationsÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�. OÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Sullivan begins by evoking Eden, the fall, and the fate of man, and he does this with the wry ease that characterises so much of his work. This collection wrestles the secular and the metaphysical, idealism, time and death. There is also, and we suspect OÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Sullivan would deny it, a hint of the autobiographical. There are poems here which donÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�t so much reveal the poet as evoke a thoughtful intimacy that we want to associate with a Ã�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�realÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â� world. The reader knows that for the poet this is the point, but we still want to think otherwise. OÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Sullivan is an extraordinary voice in New Zealand letters, and perhaps, only perhaps, this is best seen in his poetry. Publisher's blurb: Nice morning for it, Adam continues and builds on the achievement of Vincent OÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�SullivanÃ�Â�Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�Ã�Â�s recent highly-regarded collections, Lucky Table and Seeing you Asked. These poems reveal a powerful intellect brought to bear on a world of continual change and curiosity. Stepping deftly through a breathtaking range of voices and forms, this book places poems of wry satirical humour against those of remarkable sweetness. What is offered is a poetry of openness and moving humility, as well as an insight into the peculiar challenges of being human. First published 2004.
Winner of Montana New Zealand Book Awards: Poetry Category 2005.