Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Leading Publisher On NZ Culture To Receive UC Honorary Doctorate

Prolific author, editor and curator Dr Peter Simpson, who has written and edited over 20 books celebrating this country’s art, literature and cultural history, will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) from the University of Canterbury (UC) at a graduation ceremony on 18 December.
 
 

Dr Simpson graduated from UC in 1964 (MA Hons) and joined UC’s College of Arts faculty from 1964 to 1968, and again in 1976 to 1987 after returning from Canadian universities, Toronto and Carleton, Ottawa.

“The University of Canterbury was a big part of my life in the 1960s when I was a student and young lecturer; then again in the 1970s and 1980s when I returned from overseas to teach there,” Dr Simpson says.

“Above all, the university gave me experiences and skills and set directions which as a writer, scholar and teacher I have followed ever since. For that I am deeply grateful, as I am for the completely unexpected but gratifying recognition signified by this degree.”

Born in Takaka, Dr Simpson attended Nelson College before heading south to study at UC.

His first ventures as an editor were Ronald Hugh Morrieson (OUP, 1982) and Look Back Harder: Critical Writings by Allen Curnow (AUP, 1987), and as a writer Selected Poems by Kendrick Smithyman (AUP, 1989). These were followed by many more books, capturing and exploring the work of notable poets, painters and publishers, such as James K. Baxter, Colin McCahon and Leo Bensemann.

Dr Simpson’s Seven New Zealand Novellas (Reed, 2003) and Peter Peryer Photographer (AUP, 2008), were short listed for Montana Book Awards while Bloomsbury South: The Arts in Christchurch 1933-1953 (AUP, 2016) was short listed for the New Zealand Book Awards.

As director of The Holloway Press Dr Simpson published some forty titles. As a reviewer and writer he published over 100 articles in publications ranging from the New Zealand Herald to the Journal of New Zealand Art History, and The Listener, Landfall, New Zealand Books and Art New Zealand.

Turning to fine art, Dr Simpson has curated exhibitions, including touring exhibitions, on Colin McCahon and Leo Bensemann. A former member of the McCahon House Trust and the Michael King Trust, he continues to serve on the Research Committee for the Colin McCahon Research and Publication Trust.

“Peter Simpson is a very deserving recipient of this honour,” UC Tumu Kaunihera | Chancellor Sue McCormack says. “Following a long and successful academic career, he has continued his literary and scholarly pursuits in retirement. His recent works on New Zealand artists, including Colin McCahon, have been well-received and are noteworthy for being accessible to the general reader.”

In 2017 Dr Simpson was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement (non-fiction). In 2018 he received a Creative New Zealand grant to write a two-volume study on Colin McCahon for his centenary in 2019. Dr Simpson also served as Labour MP for Lyttelton from 1987 to 1990. He has been married to his wife Helen since 1967; they have two adult children and three granddaughters.

Honorary doctorates are awarded to UC alumni or other members of the community with whom the University has a substantial association, recognising those who have made outstanding contributions to their field of endeavour, to the wellbeing and betterment of society or to cultural development and understanding within the wider national and international community.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>


Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland