Writers honoured by prime minister for their contribution to New Zealand literature & More Trending News


Jacinda Ardern congratulated this year’s recipients of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.


Jacinda Ardern congratulated this yr’s recipients of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

Writers Stephanie Johnson, James Norcliffe and Vincent O’Malley are the winners of this yr’s Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

In a press release, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned she was delighted to honour the trio, who every have received $60,000 in recognition of their vital contribution to New Zealand literature. “The awards recognise not only their literary achievements, but also the significant impact their work has had on the cultural landscape of Aotearoa,” Ardern mentioned.

Wellington-based O’Malley mentioned he was extraordinarily grateful for the non-fiction award.

O’Malley is a founding accomplice of HistoryWorks, a gaggle of historians specialising in Treaty of Waitangi analysis. He’s additionally authored numerous books about New Zealand historical past together with The Meeting Place: Māori and Pākehā Encounters, 1642–1840, Beyond the Imperial Frontier: The Contest for Colonial New Zealand, The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000, and The New Zealand Wars | Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa.

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O’Malley mentioned he had an incredible ardour for historical past from an early age regardless of not finding out it in school. After being provided a three-month contract researching Treaty claims after college, he’s by no means appeared again.

When he began working as a historian 30 years in the past O’Malley mentioned there was widespread ignorance of New Zealand historical past, alarmist framing of it, and vital opposition to Treaty claims.

“It’s only the last five years or so we’ve turned a corner as a nation and are willing to engage with history and acknowledge it. We’re not cherry-picking out bits we prefer not to remember. It’s important to also remember the darker bits of our past as well – that’s all part of our story. A mature nation needs to own its history warts and all,” O’Malley mentioned.

Historian Vincent O’Malley won the award for non-fiction.


Historian Vincent O’Malley received the award for non-fiction.

It was massively vital that historical past can be taught in colleges from subsequent yr so future generations have been traditionally literate, O’Malley mentioned. History taught younger individuals vital considering expertise, and the flexibility to analyse proof and sources and make knowledgeable judgements, he mentioned.

Christchurch-based poet, fiction author and educator Norcliffe received the award for poetry, having printed 11 poetry collections in addition to a number of novels and a brief story assortment. He’s had an extended involvement with takahē​ poetry​ journal​ together with as editor and was president of the New Zealand Poetry Society from 2005-2007, and has edited main poetry anthologies.

Growing up on the West Coast Norcliffe remembers telling his older cousins he needed to be a poet, although he didn’t even understand how to pronounce the phrase then. As he grew older, he would write poetry he was pleased with.

James Norcliffe won the poetry award.


James Norcliffe received the poetry award.

His recommendation to budding poets was to learn. “Find out what it’s like, what it sounds like in your mouth. Read aloud. Read your own work aloud. Then read in front of other people,” he mentioned. “When you’re brave, submit it. Send it off into the world. … And be brave enough to accept the rejections that come, too.”

Classically, poetry comes from the Greek poiesis, to do with making or creating. Norcliffe favored that analogy. “I quite like the idea of a poem as an artefact, like a well-made chair. All the parts harmonise together, and you’re left with an object – something you can return to.”

Fiction winner Johnson is an Auckland-based author of novels, brief tales, and poetry. She’s additionally written for stage, tv and radio. Her many novels embody The Shag Incident, The Whistler, Belief, and Crimes of Neglect.

Writer Stephanie Johnson won the fiction award.

Lawrence Smith/Stuff

Writer Stephanie Johnson received the fiction award.

With Peter Wells, Johnson based the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival in 1998, and in 2019 she was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for providers to literature.

The awards have been established in 2003 and are held yearly.

Kiwis are invited to nominate writers in three classes, that are then assessed by an exterior panel.

The winners will attend a lunch with Ardern in March.

Writers honoured by prime minister for their contribution to New Zealand literature

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