THE Ok Tedi Mining Ltd Papua New Guinea book of the year award was initiated just last year and its inauguration marked a significant milestone in the rebirth of the nation’s written literature.
It has been observed before in these columns that creative writing in PNG – especially of book length - fell into a deep trough following the effervescent years around independence when many emergent authors found voice.
The drought began to break in 2010 with the advent of the Crocodile Prize national literary contest and the subsequent publication, in 2011, of the first Crocodile Prize Anthology.
And this resurgence was enriched last year when, through the generosity of Ok Tedi Mining, the national book of the year award was established. There were six entries – three from Leonard Fong Roka. These were The Pomong U’tau of Dreams, Moments in Bougainville and Brokenville, which went on to win.