The 2017 Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement were held on Wednesday 9th August and having had a night to celebrate their successes, Unity Books was very pleased to host the winners in store the following lunchtime. Kate De Goldi graciously chaired the round table discussion in front of a full house as Paula Green (winner for Poetry), Peter Simpson (winner for Non-fiction) and Witi Ihimaera (winner for Fiction) answered questions and read from their work.
In the wide-ranging converstion there was a consistent through-line recognizing the sheer wealth of high quality and culturally immersive New Zealand writing now available, something which each writer agreed was lacking during their formative years. Peter & Witi also discussed their shared love of music and how they would often bump into each other in Auckland record stores, whilst Paula spoke of her online poetry projects Poetry Box and Poetry Shelf, and her joy in getting children reading and writing poetry.
Copies of the winner’s books can be purchased from Unity’s online bookshop below;