The judges of this year's Montana Book Awards Poetry Prize describe the winning book as achieving something significantly new in poetic practice in New Zealand.
The prize was won by Jenny Bornholdt for her collection The Rocky Shore.
Judges say she uses speech in this collection as people know it in everyday life and disobeys the rules that poetry should avoid the personal.
Ms Bornholdt is delighted with winning the prize and also the praise.
She says she talks in the poems about the actual process of writing them - something she has never done before.
They took her six years to write and Ms Bornholdt says they all work together and could be read as one long poem.