Inaugural award for Bill Sewell

The late Bill Sewell is the first recipient of the Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for Poetry in recognition of his achievements. Speaking on behalf of the Canterbury Poets Collective and the New Zealand Poetry Society, which set up the award, John O’Connor said Bill Sewell was one of our finest poets, though undervalued in his own time.

He said Bill Sewell’s last two books, Erebus: a poem and The Ballad of Fifty-one, stood with the best work of major figures like Kendrick Smithyman and Lauris Edmond, and were part of our national story.

The award will be presented biennially at the Christchurch Arts Festival.

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