2018 Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement: winners announced

By Creative New Zealand | Posted: Monday October 8, 2018

Feminist and working-class stories, poetry as song, and a deeper understanding of New Zealand art – these are just some of the frontiers explored by this year’s winners of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

They are beloved Māori dramatist and fiction writer Renée, revered critic, curator and poet Wystan Curnow and admired poet, publisher and librettist Michael Harlow. The Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, announced the recipients today.

Each will be awarded $60,000 in recognition of their outstanding contribution to New Zealand literature. Renée will be honoured for fiction, Wystan Curnow for non-fiction, and Michael Harlow for poetry.

“Our warmest congratulations to Renée, Wystan and Michael,” says Arts Council Chair Michael Moynahan.

“Each of these extraordinary storytellers has a unique perspective on New Zealand identity, and has significantly contributed to our country’s literary landscape, creating a strong legacy for New Zealand writers.”

The awards will be presented at a ceremony at Premier House in Wellington on Monday 15 October.

The Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement were established in 2003. Every year New Zealanders are invited to nominate their choice of a writer who has made a significant contribution to New Zealand literature in the genres of non-fiction, poetry and fiction. New Zealand writers are also able to nominate themselves for these awards.

Nominations are assessed by an external expert panel and recommendations forwarded to the Arts Council of Creative New Zealand for approval. This year’s selection panel was Jill Rawnsley, John Huria and Murray Edmond, chaired by Lauren Hughes.

A full list of previous recipients can be found on the Creative New Zealand website.


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