In our December newsletter:
2016 forthcoming titles, Staff summer reading picks, Ockham NZ Book Awards long list, news, reviews and podcasts, a Xmas competition & more.
Victoria University Press newsletter

VUP 2016 forthcoming titles

We are delighted to announce some highlights in our 2016 publishing schedule. We are getting these up on our forthcoming books page as fast as we can. More will be added in the next few weeks so keep a look out.



Our poetry list will be as strong as ever with new collections coming from Andrew Johnston, Vincent O'Sullivan, Tusiata Avia, Nick Ascroft and Kerrin P. Sharpe. Much anticipated debut collections from Hera Lindsay Bird, Claire Orchard and Bill Nelson will make for a top year in poetry publication. The Transit of Venus project collects poems by six poets including Hinemoana Baker, Chris Price and Glenn Colquhoun. Also expect to see Alistair Te Ariki Campbell’s Collected Poems next year.

Claire Orchard's Cold Water Cure and Andrew Johnston's Fits and Starts will be launched alongside Damien Wilkins's new novel, Dad Art, during the Wellington Writers Festival in March. Andrew will be over from France in March to launch his book and take part in the festival. Vincent O'Sullivan's new collection, And So It Is, will also be published in March.



Fiction is also looking very good for 2016. Dad Art is Damien Wilkins in top form. Tracey Slaughter's short fiction has been gathering awards here and internationally for a few years now, and her Deleted Scenes for Lovers is short fiction at its best. Tracey recently won the 2015 Landfall Essay Competition. A follow-up novel from Danyl McLauchlan, Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley, will also be published in the first half of the year.

Towards the end of the year we will publish Catherine Chidgey's fourth novel, The Wish Child. And a fabulous child it is too. The story of two German families caught up in the war, The Wish Child is a love letter of sorts to Berlin: a love letter and a lament.


In non-fiction, Fiona Pardington: A Beautiful Hesitation showcases one of New Zealand’s most important and celebrated photographers. Beautifully designed by Neil Pardington, this book includes photographs spanning 30 years and essays by such contributors as Andrew Paul Wood, Susan Best, Rangitunoa Black, Aaron Lister and Kriselle Baker.

We're excited that we'll have another graphic novel to add to the list, with Sarah Laing's marvellous The Little Lamp: an auto/bio comic about Katherine Mansfield and me.

Ingrid Horrocks and Cherie Lacey have edited a collection of essays emerging from their colloquium 'Placing the Personal Essay' held at Massy University in December 2014. This fascinating collection brings together writers, historians, literary critics and cultural theorists to reflect on how we write about place in Aotearoa New Zealand. Includes Giovanni Tiso, Lydia Wevers, Tina Makereti, Martin Edmond, Tony Ballantyne, and many others.

Mid-year we'll have New Zealand Society at War 1914–1918, essays on the home front by leading writers and historians, edited by Steven Loveridge, whose first book, Calls to Arms: New Zealand Society and Commitment to the Great War, is one of the NZ Listener’s 2015 Top 100 books.

And there's more to come.

VUP staff summer reading picks

Kyleigh Hodgson
This Christmas I want to read the Neopolitan trilogy by Elena Ferrante (having heard so much about it in the office this year), and if I have any reading time left over, The Chimes by Anna Smaill, and Grief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter. Then, depending on how much brain power I have left, I will finally get around to reading either Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty or Yes Please by Amy Poehler.

Kirsten McDougall
I try to read an old book each summer. Last year, Portrait of a Lady – brilliant, although I'm still mad at Henry James for what he did to Isabel. This year, Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. Steve Braunias's The Scene of the Crime is on my list, Steve writes the dreary horror of New Zealand small town drama so well. And My Lunches with Orson by Peter Biskind in which the reader gets to drop in on intimate conversations between Welles and friends.

Ashleigh Young
First on my list is my hero Diana Athill’s new (and probably final) memoir Alive, Alive Oh! Others I’m excited about are Kim Kardashian’s Marriage by Sam Riviere, Dean Young’s Bender, the short stories We Don’t Know What We’re Doing by Thomas Morris, and my two annual treats, Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015 and Best American Essays 2015. Also: I’m finally getting around to a cycling memoir called The Escape Artist by Matt Seaton.

Craig Gamble
My summer reading will involve some rather obscure books on shipbuilding and airframe manufacture in Southampton in the 1920s and 30s. But apart from those I’m keen to read many books from the Costa Prize shortlists especially The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books) and Jessica’s Ghost by Andrew Norriss (David Fickling Books). I’ll probably add to that David Almond’s Guardian Prize winning A Song for Ella Grey, as his book Skellig is an all time favourite of mine.

Fergus Barrowman
Sport submissions. Proofs of Damien Wilkins’ new novel Dad Art, Claire Orchard’s debut poetry collection Cold Water Cure and Tracey Slaughter’s short stories Deleted Scenes for Lovers. The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams and The Complete Stories: Clarice Lispector. Roberto Calasso’s memoir The Art of the Publisher. Lean meat with minimum connective tissue.

Ockham New Zealand Book Awards longlist

We are delighted for our authors whose books made the longlist of the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

For poetry:
Airini Beautrais, Dear Neil Roberts
Roger Horrocks, Song of the Ghost in the Machine

For non-fiction:
Rachel Barrowman, Maurice Gee: Life and Work

For fiction:
Geoff Cochrane, Astonished Dice
David Coventry, The Invisible Mile
Patrick Evans, The Back of His Head

We celebrate the above authors and their achievements.

We must also add that we are sad for all of those incredible books that didn't make the longlist. As ever, we wish that there were more prizes to go around the many talented writers we get to publish each year.

The shortlist for the NZ Ockham Book awards will be announced in early March 2016, and winners will be announced in May at an award ceremony that is part of the Auckland Writers Festival week. The full longlist can be read here.

Reviews, news and podcasts

The fabulous Joan Fleming talks up blue to Kim Knight in the Sunday Star Times

Bill Manhire and Kim Hill interview on Saturday Morning,
The Spinoff review of The Stories of Bill Manhire

'A brilliant tour de force of writing talent' The Invisible Mile on Landfall review

Four questions for Brent Kininmont, author of Thuds Underneath, here

Damien Wilkins's launch speech for The Stories of Bill Manhire, here

The Plays of Bruce Mason, interview with author John Smythe on Standing Room Only

NZ Listener Top 100 books for 2015 listed here

Bill Manhire gives Colin Craig some free poetry analysis

We're loving The Spinoff's Best Books lists – loaded daily

And ARTICLE has some very good reading also.

Congratulations to Amy Head, Bridget van der Zijpp, David Coventry, Maria McMillan and Vincent O'Sullivan who received funding in the latest round of Creative New Zealand Arts Grants. We look forward hearing more from these writers in the future.

Top of the Interns

We welcome Holly Hunter, fresh from the Whitireia Diploma in Publishing, who will be joining our team in February for a six-month internship. Holly edited The Plays of Bruce Mason this year as part of her course work. She has written her long-standing affection for the novel Meg by Maurice Gee in this essay posted on our blog.

Christmas competition – win four amazing VUP books!

We are giving away a Christmas reading pack of four books to the eighth person who correctly quotes the third line of the third stanza in Colin Craig's recently published poem, 'One Word'. The eighth correct respondent will win: The Collected Stories of Bill Manhire by Bill Manhire, The Invisible Mile by David Coventry, In the Neighbourhood of Fame by Bridget van der Zjipp and Failed Love Poems by Joan Fleming.

Enter by email here.
The winner will be announced on twitter and facebook when we have one.

Christmas closure/summer hours

VUP offices will be closed from Friday 18 December and will reopen on Tuesday 5 January.

Have a safe and happy summer break everyone.
Thanks for your support in 2015.
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