Ian Wedde is a poet, novelist and critic. His work as an art critic in particular led him to curate a number of key exhibitions and work as the head of art and visual culture at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa from 1994 until 2004. His poems appear in numerous journals and anthologies, and in over 13 poetry collections. He has also written several novels and books of essays. He was editor of the 1985 Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse, co-edited with Harvey McQueen. He was awarded an Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2006, and he was the 2011-2013 Poet Laureate for New Zealand.
Place of residence: Wellington, New Zealand
Ian Wedde was awarded the 1972 Robert Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago in Dunedin.
Dick Seddon's Great Drive won the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction at the 1977 New Zealand Book Awards. The following year, he received the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry (which he jointy shared with Bill Manhire) for Spells Coming Out.
The Commonplace Odes (Auckland University Press, 2001) was Wedde's first poetry collection in eight years.
Ralph Hotere: Black Light, of which Wedde was the general editor, received the Montana Award for Illustrative Arts at the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
Wedde's novella 'Dick Seddon's Great Dive' appears in Nine New Zealand Novellas, edited by Peter Simpson (Reed, 2005). This is a companion volume to the bestselling Seven New Zealand Novellas.
From 1994 to 2004 Wedde worked as a member of the conceptual team charged with developing the Museum of New Zealand/Te Papa Tongarewa's radical agenda. Making Ends Meet: Essays & Talks 1992-2004 (Victoria University Press, 2005), provides a running commentary on the pressing cultural issues of that project and those years.
Wedde was the 2005 Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellow. One of New Zealand's most long-standing and prestigious literary awards, the fellowship is offered annually to enable a New Zealand writer to work in Menton, France. He used the fellowship to write the novel The Viewing Platform and to complete a draft of the novel Chinese Opera, which he had put aside in 1989. Later that year, he released his poetry collection Three Regrets and A Hymn to Beauty (Auckland University Press, 2005).
The novel Wedde wrote during the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellowship, The Viewing Platform, was published by Penguin in 2006 .
Wedde had a poem included in Shards of Silver (Steele Roberts, 2006), a book investigating the interplay between photography and poetry.
Wedde was awarded an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award in 2006.
In 2007, Wedde received a Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of Auckland. These annual awards honour alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their professions, to their communities, and to the nation.
Victoria University Press published Chinese Opera in 2008.
In August 2009, Wedde published a monograph on the artist Bill Culbert, Bill Culbert: Making Light Work (Auckland University Press).
Wedde's fourteenth poetry collection, Good Business, was also published by Auckland University Press in 2009. At the heart of his most recent poetry collection is the sequence "Good Business", which is at once an ode to walking the side streets of central Wellington, and an elegy of the poet's father.
Also in 2009, Wedde was honoured as an Auckland University Writer in Residence, which aims to foster New Zealand writing by providing a full-time opportunity to work in an academic environment.
Ian Wedde was the 2011-2013 Poet Laureate for New Zealand. Wedde was the recipient of the 2013 Creative New Zealand $40,000 Berlin Writer’s Residency.
Wedde's collection of poems The Lifeguard: New Poems 2008–2013 was published by Auckland University Press in 2012. It was a finalist in the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards.
Last updated: August 2013