Writers Read Series 2011:
Lunchtime Reading and Discussion -
Thursday, September 15th
12 noon-1.00 pm
Staff Common Room
This will be the second in our ongoing Albany Writers Read series, sponsored by the School of English and Media Studies on Massey's Palmerston North, Wellington, and Albany campuses, and co-hosted here in Auckland by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Our speaker, Ian Wedde, is one of New Zealand's most celebrated poets, novelists and cultural critics. He has just been appointed the National Library's New Zealand Poet Laureate for the period 2011-2013. Ian will read from and discuss his recent creative work, followed by a brief question and answer session.
Light refreshments will be provided.
More about Ian Wedde:
Ian Wedde's publications to date include fourteen poetry collections, five novels, and numerous monographs and essay collections. His influential 1985 Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse (co-edited with Harvey McQueen) was followed by The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry (1989), co-edited with Harvey McQueen and Miriama Evans.
He won the 1977 New Zealand Book Award for Fiction for Dick Seddon's Great Dive; the 1978 New Zealand Book Award for Poetry for Spells for Coming Out; the 2001 Montana Award for Illustrative Arts for Ralph Hotere: Black Light; the 2005 Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellowship in Menton, France; and a 2006 Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award. He was also the 2009 Writer in Residence at The University of Auckland.
Contact Person for this event:
Dr Jack Ross
School of English and Media Studies
Pvt Bag 102 904
North Shore Mail Centre
Phone: 414-0800 x 9506
Write-ups & Responses:
- Jennifer Little, Massey University News Release (5 September, 2011):
Poet Laureate Ian Wedde to talk at Massey
The art of shifting between poetry, fiction and essay forms, and how to decide which best suits an idea, are among topics distinguished poet, author, commentator and critic Ian Wedde will touch on in a talk at Massey’s Albany campus next week.
The free lunchtime public talk on September 15 is one of Mr Wedde’s first in his new role as Poet Laureate (2011-2013), announced last month, and a unique chance for readers, writers and poetry lovers to hear him as guest in the University’s Writers Read Series, run by the School of English and Media Studies.
As the new public face of poetry, he will read from and talk about some of his new work, including his latest novel The Catastrophe (Victoria University Press), and an expansion of his essay, The Grass-Catcher, winner of last year’s Landfall essay competition, as well as his poetic work-in-progress Shadow Stands Up, which can be viewed on the New Zealand Poet Laureate blog.
Mr Wedde, a prolific and multi award-winning writer of fiction, poetry and art history, and former head of art and visual culture at Te Papa museum, is the third New Zealand Poet Laureate since the award was established in 2007 to succeed the Te Mata Poet Laureate Award. The biennial award was held first by Michele Leggott, then Cilla McQueen.
Acclaimed for his literary achievements across various genres and for the depth and breadth of his aesthetic and intellectual explorations, he will share his thoughts on adapting material to different forms and perspectives. “It’s a fairly intuitive process. I’ll be thinking aloud to some extent about why you would write poetry about something and how this might become an essay, and where these overlap.”
His autobiographical essay The Grass-Catcher, “is about what we mean by ‘home’, in the biggest sense,” he says. It’s something I’ve thought about for a while, and it keeps cropping up as a subtext in a lot of my writing.”
The title refers to the canvas part of an old-fashioned, non-motorised lawnmower of his childhood. He recalls how he saw the catcher, which was hung at the back of the garage, as having two distinct lives; that of just a grass-catcher, and also its appearance and shape as something “weird”, evoking the strangeness of ordinary objects when they are seen in a different light.
His publications include fourteen collections of poetry, six novels, two collections of essays, a monograph on the artist Bill Culbert, several art catalogues, and numerous contributions to other books. He won the 1977 Book Award for Fiction for his first novel, Dick Seddon’s Great Dive, and the 1978 New Zealand Book Award for Poetry for Spells for Coming Out. Ralph Hotere: Black Light, which he edited, won the Illustrative Arts section of the 2001 Montana New Zealand book awards.
The New Zealand Poet Laureate receives $80,000 over the two-year tenure, and is supported by the National Library to define the role in their own individual way, while fulfilling the responsibilities of the office to produce work and to publicly advocate for and present poetry.
Read Mr Wedde’s blog and work-in-progress in the National Library’s website for the Poet Laureate: nzpoetlaureate.natlib.govt.nz
Ian Wedde in Writers Read Series; 12pm, Thursday 15 September; Massey Albany, Study Centre Staff Lounge.
Next in this series:
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Study Centre Staff Lounge