Best Cover: Spectrum Print Book Design Awards 2002

‘Judging a Book by its Cover’ by Sarah Putt.   A Grahame Sydney image, Fog at Stan Cotter’s, gave Brian Turner’s new book the edge over 178 other submissions. Turner’s new book of poetry, Taking Off, was judged first equal Best Cover in the 2002 Spectrum Print Book Design Awards.

These awards have set out to celebrate the book as an aesthetic object and to reward book designers. Taking Off is designed by Sarah Maxey and published by Victoria University Press. As well as Grahame Sydney’s art making Taking Off an award winner, it has also been short listed in the Montana Book Awards.

Brian Turner’s first book of poems for a decade finds him in fine voice. Taking Off distils the experiences of an eventful decade, with Brian Turner’s characteristic wit and feeling. The poems are of separation, the relationship with his aging father, departed friends and of living life in Central Otago.

“That is the kind of raw material every poet welcomes and Turner has the sense to tell it straight rather than clutter it with imagery or filter it through metaphor. Turner is, after all, the Southern Man’s poet, friend of the stark realist painter Grahame Sydney whose striking landscapes never feature people.”