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Call for Poet Laureate nominations

Media release

19 June 2017

Call for Poet Laureate nominations

The National Library of New Zealand is inviting nominations for the next New Zealand Poet Laureate. Nominations will close on Friday 11 August, 2017.

The award celebrates outstanding contributions to New Zealand poetry. For a two-year term, the Laureate is supported by an $80,000 grant from the National Library, through the Alexander Turnbull Library, to create new work and promote poetry throughout the country.

“It has been wonderful to see how each Laureate has put their distinctive stamp on the Award over the last ten years,” said Chris Szekely, the Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library. “The fundamental purpose however, remains constant. They will be an advocate and a public presence for poetry, and involved in events which promote the reading and writing of poetry.”

The National Library considers public nominations for the award together with nominations from New Zealand libraries, universities and creative writing programmes. The Laureate is appointed by the Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library on advice from the New Zealand Poet Laureate Advisory Group.

As well as the financial support over two years, the Laureate receives a stipend of wine from Te Mata Estate Winery (which created the award in 1996) and a tokotoko or carved orator’s stick created by Haumoana artist Jacob Scott.

The Te Mata Estate Poets Laureate were Bill Manhire, Hone Tuwhare, Elizabeth Smither, Brian Turner, and Jenny Bornholdt. The National Library, which has administered the award since 2007, has appointed Michele Leggott, Cilla McQueen, Ian Wedde and Vincent O’Sullivan The current New Zealand Poet Laureate is C.K. Stead, who will conclude his time as Laureate in August this year.

The National Library will name the next Poet Laureate on National Poetry Day, Friday 25 August.

Visit here for more information about and Poet Laureate nomination forms.


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