Ian Wedde

Poet, novelist, essayist and curator.

Photo credit: Oliver Read

Ian Wedde is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, six novels, two collections of essays, a collection of short stories, a monograph on the artist Bill Culbert and several art catalogues, and has been co-editor of two poetry anthologies. His work has been widely anthologised, and has appeared in journals nationally and internationally.

Wedde won the National Book Award for fiction for his first novel, Dick Seddon’s Great Dive (1976), and a New Zealand Book Award for his poetry collection Spells for Coming Out by Day (1978). Ralph Hotere: Black Light, of which he was the general editor, won the Illustrative Arts section of the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. He was the Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago in 1972, the Victoria University Writing Fellow in 1984, the Katherine Mansfield Fellow in Menton in 2005, and The University of Auckland Michael King Writer in Residence in 2009.

Wedde’s other awards include the New Zealand Literary Fund Scholarship in Letters (twice) and a Fulbright New Zealand travel award. He has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Auckland, a Research Associate at the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies at Victoria University, received an Arts Foundation Laureate award in 2006, a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland in 2007, and won the Landfall Essay Prize in 2010.

In 2010 Wedde was awarded an ONZM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in 2011 was made New Zealand Poet Laureate. He was awarded the Creative New Zealand Writer’s Residency in Berlin in 2013–14, and in 2014 received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement (poetry). Between 1994 and 2004 Wedde was head of art and visual culture at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa; more recently he has been an adjunct senior lecturer in the departments of Art History and English at The University of Auckland and is now an independent curator and critic.