NZSA announces 2020 President of Honour - Paula Morris

By Read NZ | Posted: Wednesday August 5, 2020

The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa announces that writer, academic and literary sector stalwart Paula Morris is the NZSA 2020-2021 President of Honour.

This prestigious honour is bestowed on a senior writer and long-serving NZSA member in recognition of their contribution to writing and writers and the literary arts sector in Aotearoa.

Paula Morris holds senior roles across the book industry and is generous in her mentoring and support for writers. She champions diverse voices and has many mentoring roles across groups of emerging and developing writers.

NZSA President Mandy Hager says “I’m thrilled we can honour Paula in this way, acknowledging her tremendous support of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s writers and her own impressive writing outputs.”

NZSA CEO Jenny Nagle says, "The NZSA is delighted to recognise Paula Morris' immense contribution to the writing world in Aotearoa. We look forward to hearing her 'state of the nation' address in this pivotal and challenging year for the writing and publishing sector."

The NZSA President of Honour delivers the prestigious annual NZSA Janet Frame Memorial Lecture - a free community event that commentates on the current state of the literary and writing sectors in Aotearoa. This year's event will be held at The MacLaurin Chapel, Princes St, Auckland University on Wednesday, September 2nd, 7pm. She will be introduced by NZSA President Mandy Hager.

Copyright Licensing New Zealand CE Paula Browning will announce the recipients of the CLNZ 2020 Writers Award and CLNZ 2020 Research Grants at the event.

Paula Morris, Associate Professor, MNZM (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whatua) was born in Auckland in 1965. She is the award-winning author of short stories, essays and novels, including Queen of Beauty (Penguin 2002), Rangatira (Penguin 2011) and False River (Penguin 2017). A collaboration with photographer Haru Sameshima on Robin Hyde will be published by Massey University Press in 2020. She is also the co-editor of two forthcoming anthologies: Ko Aotearoa Tātou (Otago UP) and New Asian Voices (Auckland UP).

Paula sits on the Māori Literature Trust, the Mātātuhi Foundation, and NZ Book Awards Trust, where she chairs the Ockham NZ Book Award committee; she is also a former trustee of the Michael King Writers Centre and one of the foundation board members of The Coalition for Books. She is the founder of the Academy of New Zealand Literature and The Three Lamps (T3L) literary journal.

Appointed an MZNM in the 2019 New Year Honours, she has appeared in festivals in New Zealand, Australia, China, India, South Africa, Europe, the UK, Canada and the US, and been awarded a number of prestigious international residencies, including Bellagio (the Rockefeller Foundation), Passa Porta in Brussels, the Brecht House residency in Denmark, and the International Writers and Translators residency in Latvia. In 2019 she was the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellow.

Paula convenes the Master of Creative Writing programme at the University of Auckland and is active in teaching in schools and in community programmes like New Kiwi Women Write, as well as professional development classes for teachers. Paula has served as a mentor for the Te Papa Tupu Māori writer programme and for the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa and has developed school writing programmes for the Auckland Writers Festival and the Henderson-Massey Local Board. She has served as a judge for writing contests and books awards in New Zealand, Australia and the US, as well as the 2019 Commonwealth Story Prize. This year she is one of the judges for the ARA Historical Novel Prize (Australia).

Recordings of four of Paula’s books have been broadcast on RNZ; she abridged and served as the reader for the most recent, On Coming Home (BWB 2015). She is also an experienced and in-demand live interviewer, currently host of 12 weekly episodes of the Auckland Writers Festival Winter Series. Her previous credits include interviews with Kazuo Ishiguro, Arundhati Roy, Mohsin Hamid, Junot Diaz, DBC Pierre Zadie Smith, Nigella Lawson, Akala, George Saunders, Ben Okri, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Witi Ihimaera, Paul Beatty, Fiona Kidman, Kamila Shamsie, Michel Faber, Patricia Grace and Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi.

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