ESSAY COMPETITION 2017 – WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT AND JUDGE’S REPORT

takahē magazine is delighted to announce the winner of our inaugural essay competition 2017.
The team would like to thank all entrants for participating. We acknowledge the high standard of entrants and wish them well in their future endeavours.

THE WINNER:
It’s Not a Life by Robyn Maree Pickens

The winning essay will be published online in takahē 90

 

 

 

 

Highly commended: Canoeing to Jerusalem by James Ackhurst
Special mentions: License to Laugh by Emer Lyons, and Tūrangawaewae by Nadine Millar

Judge’s Report – Erin Harrington, Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Canterbury and emeritus  takahē Essays Editor:

This is the first time takahē has run an essay competition off this type, and it was interesting to note a few prevailing trends in the pieces submitted. Many entries were personal essays or works of memoir. Certain themes dominated, especially issues surrounding belonging, nationhood, whakapapa, history, memory, and identity. Some stayed quite close to home, while others looked further afield, offering intriguing perspectives on topics as varied as everyday items, crime and punishment, geology, and infrastructure. It was heartening, too, to see a genuine variety of perspectives, with Māori, Pākehā, Pasifika, and immigrant points of view all present. This made for some very entertaining and enlightening reading.

The essays that most caught my eye were those that demonstrated a flair for language and prose, put forward a clear argument or point of view, and exhibited a degree of sophistication in the way that they explored their chosen topic. While many of the best retained a first-person perspective, they used this as a point of departure; they generally looked out, rather than in. In doing so, these essays were successful in exploring sometimes weighty and complex topics and ideas with a combination of thoughtfulness, wit and insight.

The winning essay, “It’s Not a Life”, starts with an anecdotal account of the author’s experiences in the sort of draughty, damp, mouldy houses that characterise New Zealand’s shameful housing stock, and then uses this as context for a perceptive account of power, poverty and art. This is a well-considered and detailed essay that demonstrates a flair for language and a dry sense of humour. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

While there is only space for one winning essay, I would also like to particularly congratulate the authors of three other essays: “Canoeing to Jerusalem”, a piece about James K. Baxter, poetry, and national literatures; “Licence to Laugh”, which interrogates sexism and the representation of women (and men cross-dressing as women) in theatre, comedy and television; and “Tūrangawaewae”, which explores the importance of stories and storytelling in our personal and national histories.

I appreciate the efforts of all those who entered work. Ngā mihi nui.

A simple way to show your support

Format Status

The observant among you will have noticed a small change to the takahē website – the appearance of a Donate button at the bottom of the page. Like most literary magazines, our survival is heavily dependant on a combination of subscriptions and grants from various funding bodies. While we’d really love it if you would subscribe to the magazine as whole, we do realise that some of you simply can’t afford to, or don’t want to have paper copies accumulating in a book case somewhere.

Here’s what we’re asking instead: if you like what we’re doing, if you enjoy reading the work we publish, if one of our editors sent you a useful response to a submission, or even if you’re just feel in a slightly generous mood today, please consider clicking the donate button below and sending us a little love back, via Paypal. Your donation will help us keep doing what we do.

Thanks.

takahē 87 ONLINE – LAUNCH PARTY

After 26 years, takahē magazine is going online!

On Wednesday 10 August, balloonstakahē 87 will be published online.

To celebrate, the Takahē Collective is holding a launch party and you are invited.

Venue:             Upstairs at The Twisted Hop, 616 Ferry Road, Woolston

Date:               10 August 2016

Time:               6.30pm

Meals, bar snacks and beverages can be purchased from the bar.

Following the meal, there will be readings by local contributors to takahē 87:

takahe 87 coverLynn Tara Austin

Lucy D’Aeth

Nod Ghosh

Gail Ingram

James Norcliffe

Rach Smith

RSVP by 8 August to admin@takahe.org.nz

It will be helpful to the tavern if you can advise whether you will want to purchase a meal (or more than one).

We’ve changed! (But you don’t have to)

Welcome to the new-look website for takahē magazine. And welcome to our brand-spanking-new blog!

We plan to have regular posts from each of the editors, talking about such varied things as why we chose a particular piece (poem, story, essay or artwork); what trends seem to be emerging in New Zealand cultural life; how long it is until the next print issue appears; who we have judging the competitions (you do know about our competitions, don’t you?); calls for submissions, and anything else that occurs to us at the time. We’ll also have occasional posts from the various other members of the Takahē Collective – the people who are usually behind the scenes, keeping things ticking over.

This is also where you get the chance to take part in the discussions: is there something you would like to know? A question you’d like to ask, a comment you’d like to make, a suggestion for future topics, or for future featured writers/artists? Comments will be moderated, so abuse, spam, and random witterings that aren’t sufficiently interesting or relevant will not make it out of moderation. (It’s not just trolls. Until you’ve blogged, you have no idea how many people there are out there attempting to hijack comments to sell herbal or mechanical ʻenhancements’. Or photos of celebrities. Or who have a large sum of money that they would like to give you but first dear one I need your bank account details …)

T85 iconSo welcome – have a look around, take in the sights, and enjoy. And if you would like to be kept up to date with takahē news, and announcements of things like competitions, collaborations, impending deadlines and other matters of a literary and artistic nature, subscribe to follow the blog – it’s absolutely free, and means you’ll be effortlessly In The Know.

The Takahē Collective: bringing the best art and literature from Aotearoa New Zealand to the world. Join us!