Harlow, Michael

Harlow, Michael

Information

residence
Otago
Primary publisher
Cold Hub Press; Makaro Press; Otago University Press; Auckland University Press

In Brief

Michael Harlow (1937) is a poet, publisher and librettist. Born in the USA with Greek and Ukrainian heritage, he settled in New Zealand in 1968. He has published ten books of poetry, including Giotto's Elephant (a poetry finalist in the 1991 New Zealand Book Awards), Cassandra's Daughter (Auckland University Press, 2005), The Tram Conductor's Blue Cap (Auckland University Press), a poetry finalist the 2010 New Zealand Book Awards, and most recently, Selected Poems, Sweeping the Courtyard (Cold Hub Press 2014) and a book of love poems, Heart Absolutely I Can (Makaro Press, 2014).

Cassandra's Daughter
Heart Absolutely I Can
Sweeping the Courtyard
Nothing For It But To Sing
The Tram Conductor's Blue Cap

About the author

Michael Harlow (1937–)is a poet, publisher and librettist. Born in the USA with Greek and Ukrainian heritage, he settled in New Zealand in 1968.

He has published ten books of poetry, including Giotto's Elephant (a poetry finalist in the 1991 New Zealand Book Awards), Cassandra's Daughter (Auckland University Press, 2005), The Tram Conductor's Blue Cap (Auckland University Press), a poetry finalist the 2010 New Zealand Book Awards, and most recently, Selected Poems, Sweeping the Courtyard (Cold Hub Press 2014) and a book of love poems, Heart Absolutely I Can (Makaro Press, 2014).

He has represented at Literary Festivals in Colombia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Mexico, Romania, and Italy, and his work has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, and Romanian.

Take a Risk, Trust Your Language, Make a Poem was awarded the PEN/NZ Best First Book of Prose award in 1986.

Nothing For It But To Sing, the 2015 Kathleen Grattan Poetry Prize winner, was published published by Otago University Press in 2016.

Awards: the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellow/NZ Cultural Ambassador, 1986-1987; New Zealand-Australian Exchange Fellow, 1991; Writing Bursaries, 1977, 1990; NZPS International Poetry Competition, 3rd Prize, 2005; Takahe Poetry Prize, 2006; Randell Cottage Writer in Residence, 2004; Burns Fellow, University of Otago, 2009; Inaugural Caselberg Artist in Residence, 2009; the Wallace Artist/Writer in Residence, 2011-2012; The Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions to Poetry, 2014.

Harlow was recently awarded the NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship for 2016; and was the recipient of the Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award in 2015 for his book of poems Nothing For It But To Sing, published by Otago University Press in 2016.

Service/Contributions to the Literary Community: Associate and Poetry Editor at Landfall for some ten years; Editor, the Caxton Press Poetry series, publishing the early work of some of New Zealand’s leading poets, including Michele Leggott, Gregory O’Brien, Murray Edmond, Bernadette Hall; and have contributed as a Mentor to the work of such poets as Cilla McQueen, Emma Neale, Bernadette Hall, Frankie McMillan, Pat White, Hugh Lauder and others. Judging: I have served as a judge for a number of NZ and International Poetry competitions, and selection panels including: NZ National Book Awards in 1986, and most recently NZ Post National Book Award 2001; the Mid-Career Writers Award; representing NZSA on the Burns Fellowship selection committee (3 terms). Other contributions to the literary committee include: co-founder and editor of Frontiers/a Magazine of the Arts; past president/chair of the Christchurch PEN branch; and as a New Zealand/Oceania Representative at International Festivals in Medellin, Colombia, Monterey Mexico, Caracas, Venuzuela , Granada, Nicaragua (2007 and 2014), and at the European Association for Commonwealth Literature in Laufen, Germany and Istanbul, Turkey—as a poet, translator, and speaker.

Poet-Librettist: extensive collaboration with the NZ composer Kit Powell (resident in Switzerland) in creating and presenting Performance Works (some 13 works) in New Zealand, Switzerland, Germany, France, and Russia—including a commission by the NZ Symphony for their 40th anniversary, and most recently Microzoic Piano Suite (2013), commissioned by the Ensemble Neue Musik Zürich and presented at the City Gallery, Kunsthaus, Zürich; Les Episodes, Conversation with Questions, was commissioned by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for their 40th anniversary.

Michael Harlow lives and works as a writer, editor, and Jungian therapist in Central Otago, Alexandra, NZ

Updated March 2017.