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THE TED SLADE AWARD FOR SERVICE TO POETRY 2019
IS AWARDED TO
WAIATA DAWN DAVIES
(1925 - 2019)
Jim Bennett said “Waiata Dawn Davies was a New Zealand poet who was a supporter and fan of poetry and The Poetry Kit. She loved to travel and these travels became legendary. She was a fan of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and travelled to San Francisco to to hear him reading and visit City Lights Bookshop. She also made the trip to the UK for the PK bi-annual get together on a number of occasions linking this to visiting family and friends around the world. More than anything Waiata supported poets with her kind and gentle critiques, and her work with PK List, a group of poets connected through the internet, was immensely supportive and helpful. Waiata died in July 2019”
Peter Davies, Waiata's son writes "We are deeply touched that The Poetry Kit is proposing to commemorate mum by awarding her the Ted Slade Award for 2019. Her first and abiding love was always poetry and she’d have felt profoundly honoured by The Poetry Kit’s thoughtful gesture.
I couldn’t help smiling when I read in your citation that mum loved to travel and her travels became legendary. Her appetite for travel was insatiable. On one memorable occasion I had to reign in her enthusiasm when she announced plans to travel through the Hindu Kush on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border just after the US invasion of Iraq. Mum’s trips to the UK to participate in The Poetry Kit’s events were always eagerly anticipated, invariably organised on the spur of the moment, and enthusiastically discussed and written about for many months afterwards.
Mum’s passing was marked in Oamaru shortly after her death by her local writers group as part of National Poetry Day. Staff of the Oamaru Public Library spoke about mum and her contributions to literature followed by a reading of some of her poems.
Spurred on by this, the family has given some thought to how best to commemorate mum’s life and work. Apart from her published works, mum’s PC is full of both completed work and drafts of poems, short stories and novels. In addition, she had many, many journals, manuscripts and diary’s. We have purchased a domain and plan to eventually place all those works there."
Ted Slade was the founding editor of The Poetry Kit in every respect it was his vision and determination that saw the site grow to become one of the most visited poetry related sites in the world. This was done with the ethos of providing a service for our readers and always putting their needs first when developing the site. For all his work Ted received no official thanks and no payment, he did it because it was necessary and if he had not done it some others with less integrity might have.
Ted died suddenly (Memorial Page) and we always felt that we wanted to find a way to honour his memory and so we introduced an award in his name which is given to a person, or persons, who has given their time and energies over an extended period to ensuring the continuance and development of poetry,. This will include people who have kept poetry as a presence in an area or community. Those who have pursued a poetic vision through a magazine or regular reading events. Those who have developed other media to explore its poetic use or have published poets who could not have otherwise found an outlet for their work.
In 2005 we gave the first TED SLADE AWARD and since then the following people have received it;
Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn Bauling
Peter Thabit Jones
copland smith and Dave Tarrant
Waiata Dawn Davies
Waiata Dawn Davies
All recipients of the Ted Slade Award are acknowledged for their endeavour and dedication in the promotion of poetry. Without such people many of today's well known poets would not have had the opportunity to find a platform, develop their skills or find an audience.