Creative New Zealand has announced the winners of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement. They are internationally renowned Māori novelist Witi Ihimaera, literary historian and fine arts writer Peter Simpson and popular poet and children’s author Paula Green.
Each will be awarded $60,000 in recognition of their outstanding contribution to New Zealand literature. Witi Ihimaera will be honoured for fiction, Dr Peter Simpson for non-fiction, and Dr Paula Green for poetry.
Arts Council Chair Michael Moynahan said, “Our congratulations to this year’s recipients who are being recognised for their extraordinary legacy of literary achievement. As leaders in their respective crafts, they have engaged New Zealand readers with their story telling and have inspired other New Zealand writers to build on their literary legacy.”
The awards will be presented at a ceremony at Premier House in Wellington, on Wednesday 9 August. The 2017 Creative New Zealand Michael King Writer’s Fellowship winner, Dr Philip Norman, will also be honoured at the ceremony.
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 expert literary panel and recommendations forwarded to the Arts Council of Creative New Zealand for approval. This year’s selection panel was Rachael King, Nicola Legat, David Eggleton and Briar Grace-Smith.
A full list of previous recipients can be found on the Creative New Zealand website.
The Creative New Zealand Michael King Writer’s Fellowship is open to established writers of any literary genre who have already published a significant body of work. Valued at $100,000, it is awarded annually for a project that will take two or more years to complete.
Creative New Zealand and Unity Books invite you to a free literary event
The recipients of the 2017 Prime Ministers Awards for Literary Achievement will read and discuss their work with author Kate De Goldi.
This is a free event at Unity Books, 57 Willis Street, Wellington on Thursday 10 August, 12.30-1.15pm. All welcome.