The team at Auckland University Press extends our best wishes and holiday cheer to you. 2019 is particularly significant for us as it marks our best year of book sales in our history.
Our success story started early this year with the sell-out debut poetry collection of Sugar Magnolia Wilson, Because a Woman's Heart is Like a Needle at the Bottom of the Ocean. Another early win was the phenomenal success of Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys, edited by Catherine Hammond and Mary Kisler, and of course its accompanying exhibition which opened at Auckland Art Gallery and is now at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
It was also a sad year for us, with the passing of Roger Blackley and Wharehuia Milroy in May, and later in the year we also lost our friend, geographer Warren Moran, who authored New Zealand Wine: The Land, the Vines, the People in 2016. Roger and Wharehiua were both nominated for 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Roger's book, Galleries of Maoriland, was longlisted for the illustrated non-fiction prize. The awards were particularly bittersweet when Wharehuia and co-author Sir Tīmoti Kāretu won Te Mūrau o te Tuhi, the Māori Language Award for their landmark work He Kupu Tuku Iho: Ko te Reo Māori te Tatau ki te Ao.
We also celebrated other award wins with AUP authors Dylan van Winkel, Marleen Baling & Rod Hitchmough winning a prestigious Whitley Award for Best Field Guide with their book Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand: A Field Guide and psychologist Niki Harré winning the 2019 Ashton Wylie Mind Body Spirit Book Awards with her powerful and timely book, The Infinite Game: How to Live Well Together.
In our 2019 publishing we discovered wisdom with Mophead by Selina Tusitala Marsh and Haare Williams: Words of a Kaumātua. We explored the natural world with Dragonflies and Damselflies of New Zealand and Volcanoes of Auckland: A Field Guide. We looked to the past with Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy and Making History by Jock Phillips. We delved into the arts with Colin McCahon: There is Only One Direction by Peter Simpson and Always Song in the Water by Gregory O'Brien. We sought the power of words with new poetry collections from renowned New Zealand poets Gregory Kan, Helen Rickerby and Anne Kennedy, and introduced new voices with debut work from Sugar Magnolia Wilson, Amy Liegh Wicks and the relaunch of the AUP New Poets series. A wonderful array of books and people have made for a memorable year and we very much look forward to a cracking 2020.
2020 will initiate a bold new kaupapa for Auckland University Press. In October we were thrilled to announce the Kotahi Rau Pukapuka project, the promise to publish 100 books in te reo Māori, launched by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The first books of which will hit the shelves in September 2020 – get ready to meet Hari Pota.
We wish you a happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
Noho ora mai,
The team at AUP