Congratulations: Airini Beautrais wins Landfall Essay Competition 2016

From Paula Green’s website — LANDFALL ESSAY COMPETITION WINNERS!

NZ Poetry Shelf

Airini Beautrais.jpg

Airini Beautrais has been named the winner of the 2016 Landfall Essay Competition for her essay ‘Umlaut’.

Competition judge David Eggleton said that her essay stood out as ‘written by someone unwilling to be boring, willing to take risks, and enough of a seasoned practitioner to carry it off with sustained verve’:

‘Umlaut’ is dextrous, exuberant and comical, if sardonic. It’s an account of the vexing business of unusual names and the thorny encounters they can provoke in this country with bureaucracy, with the insular-minded, with the proudly ignorant. It’s about the absurdities of modern life: how we negotiate otherness, how we negotiate our constantly revised colonial heritage on a daily basis. Sometimes verging on slapstick, nevertheless it’s a tour de force of a kind.

Airini Beautrais says she had thought that the umlaut in her children’s surname would make a good subject for a poem: ‘But the notes I put…

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