Peter Simpson

Auckland-based writer and scholar.

Photo credit: Tim Page

Peter Simpson is a writer, editor and curator who lived in Christchurch for 25 years and both graduated from and subsequently taught at the University of Canterbury.

Simpson is the author of six non-fiction books, including Fantastica: The World of Leo Bensemann (2011), Patron and Painter: Charles Brasch and Colin McCahon (2010), Colin McCahon: The Titirangi Years 1953–1959 (2007) and Answering Hark: McCahon/Caselberg: Painter/Poet (2001). He has edited, or contributed to, many other titles, including books on Allen Curnow, Kendrick Smithyman, Ronald Hugh Morrieson, Charles Spear and Peter Peryer.

Associate professor and for several years head of the Department of English at The University of Auckland, Simpson specialised in New Zealand literature, art history, modern poetry and post-colonial literatures. Simpson was also co-founder and part-time director of the Holloway Press.

As a curator, Simpson’s exhibitions include Candles in a Dark Room: James K. Baxter and Colin McCahon (Auckland Art Gallery, 1996), Colin McCahon: The Titirangi Years, 1953–1959 (Lopdell House, 2006) and the national touring exhibitions Answering Hark: Caselberg/McCahon, Poet/Painter and Rita Angus & Leo Bensemann: The Cambridge Terrace Years.