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Jumping Sundays and Always Italicise have both taken out top prizes at last night’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Nick Bollinger’s Jumping Sundays: The Rise and Fall of the Counterculture in Aotearoa New Zealand was awarded the Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction.

Always Italicise: How to write while colonised, by Alice Te Punga Somerville, won the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry.

Always Italicise judges’ comments

Poetry category convenor Diane Brown says Ms Te Punga Somerville’s collection voyages out like a waka seeking new ground.

“Readers are challenged but crucially invited in to accept that challenge and reach a new understanding of what it is to be a Māori woman scholar, mother and wife in 2022 encountering and navigating uncomfortable and hostile spaces.

“Always Italicise stood out amongst a very strong field for its finely crafted, poetically fluent and witty explorations of racism, colonisation, class, language and relationships. It’s a fine collection, establishing and marking a new place to stand.”

Jumping Sundays judges’ comments

Category convenor Jared Davidson says Jumping Sundays is a triumph of production and design.

“The cover alone is one of the best of the year and signals the visual excellence that follows: vibrant endpapers, distinctive typography and bountiful images on an appropriately uncoated stock. Yet Jumping Sundays is more than just a well-designed book. Drawing on archival research and rich personal narratives, Nick Bollinger has written a compelling account of an epoch-making period, linking international trends to the local context in a purposeful-yet-playful way.

“A joy to read and to hold, Jumping Sundays is a fantastic example of scholarship, creativity and craft.”