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Sam Sampson Wins Best First Book of Poetry Prize

Published: Fri 24 Jul 2009 03:00 PM
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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 intensely.”
“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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