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NZSA New President of Honour: Bernard Brown


23 June 2017

NZSA New President of Honour: Bernard Brown


"Like most writers, I would not know what to do if I did not write. "

Bernard Brown was appointed President of Honour 2017 – 2018 by the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) AGM Saturday on May 27. This position is awarded to a writer in recognition of their services to the literary community and Bernard Brown has been an active and vibrant member of the Society for 46 years. He joined PEN (NZ) in 1971 as Branch secretary/treasurer (with $7.35 in the kitty). He led "Portnoys Complaints” about contracts, royalties, ran writing competitions for the Auckland Branch et al for 20 years. Bernard was made an NZSA Taipūrākau in 2017 and received an ONZM in 2000. As President of Honour he will deliver the annual Janet Frame Memorial Lecture in Auckland in the near future.

Bernard Brown has a lifetime of experience in the arts. At the age of 6 he regularly dived for river-clay for an 18 year old Lucian Freud. He studied law at universities in England, Singapore and Australia and taught and researched there and in Papua New Guinea, where he wrote Fashion of Law in New Guinea and got shot with an arrow! As Acting Editor of a university law magazine he had the dubious honour of rejecting poetry submissions from Phillip Larkin and had some years with the RAF.

He has published seven books of verse and stories including Unspeakable Practices, Fearing the Kynge, and Sensible Sinning and Cocktails with Molotov is due early next year.

He has a self-confessed weakness for book launches ... and is now revealed as the author of the mischievous Sir Launchelot series in Quote Unquote. "Launches bring together the most antic personalities; David Lange and Christine Cole Catley at one of mine; at another's Keri Hulme and Keith Holyoake: "Sorry, I've got the wrong room". David and Chris formed a bond. I don't know about Keri and Keith. A decent whitebait fry-up would have done him a world of good."

ends

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