FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sam Sampson Wins Best First Book of Poetry Prize on Montana Poetry Day
EVERYTHING TALKS by Auckland poet SAM SAMPSON, published by AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY PRESS with assistance from Creative New
Zealand, has won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for the Best First Book of Poetry.
Announcing the Award today, Montana Poetry Day, the judging panel (Dr Mark Williams, journalist Margo White and novelist
and reviewer Jane Westaway) said that the “best poetry newcomer displays an uncompromising effort to make language work
“Sampson has succeeded magnificently in generating excitement and involvement in the reader.”
Sam Sampson grew up next to little Muddy Creek in South Titirangi, on the West Coast of the North Island. He has an MA
in Philosophy from The University of Auckland and for a number of years was a tutor in the university’s ethnomusicology
programme. Alongside his writing he has held various other jobs including technician at a lost-wax foundry, truck
driver, orchestral operations, musician and music reviewer.
Sampson is particularly interested in how poetry and the visual arts are related and intertwine, and has produced two
mixed media projects with artist Peter Madden.
His poems, he says, “are grafted from numerous sources: magazines, lyrics, business manuals, tide charts, overheard
conversations. If a locale is present in a number of poems it is often the West Coast of Auckland, especially the
Karekare region, where my great-uncles were foundation members of the surf patrol (1935) and my grandfather (a
mechanic) repaired the surf club trucks.”
Sam Sampson will receive his $2,500 prize at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards ceremony at the Auckland Museum on
Monday night, 27 July 2009.
The principal sponsors of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards are Montana and Creative New Zealand. The awards are
managed by Booksellers New Zealand and supported by the Book Publishers Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand
Society of Authors and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd.
Everything Talks by Sam Sampson
Published by Auckland University Press, with assistance from Creative New Zealand
Paperback; RRP $24.99
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