Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
renowned literary historian and critic, teacher, writer and scholar Professor
Lydia Wevers ONZM, is retiring from Victoria University of Wellington’s Stout
Research Centre after 17 years as its director.
time, the Centre, which has its home in the Faculty of Humanities and Social
Sciences, has also forged a reputation as a hub for New Zealand-focused research
and actively engages with academics, professionals and the wider public through
its year-round programme of events.
Few will be
surprised that one of the reasons for Professor Wevers’ retirement is a desire
to finish writing a new book.
“I’ve done a
lot of research for it, but it’s slow work getting a book written while running
a centre and teaching,” she says. “The Centre
has been a large part of my life, but I’m looking forward to having more time
and a more fluid schedule, and I expect I will manage to get several overdue
particularly enjoyed the multidisciplinary aspect of the Stout Research Centre.
It began life fairly focused on New Zealand history and history will always be
a large part of what it does, but I’ve made a very determined attempt to
showcase and engage with the whole range of knowledge in New Zealand, whether
that’s geology, politics or literature.”
Wevers’ association with Victoria goes back to 1968 when she was a first year
student. In 1973 as a recently returned graduate from the University of Oxford,
she took up a position as a lecturer in Renaissance literature in the English
she has metamorphosed into a specialist on New Zealand literature and New
Zealand studies. Her career at Victoria was interrupted by periods living
overseas, where she worked at the universities of New South Wales and Sydney
and became interested in Australian literature, which is still part of her
her career, Professor Wevers has participated in numerous governance groups
such as the Trustees of the National Library, the Marsden Fund Council, and the
Arts Board of Creative New Zealand. She has been a guest speaker at over 30
national and international events, and produced more than 100 written works.
Research Centre’s Professor Richard Hill—who has worked with Professor Wevers
since 2001—says her retirement will be “a huge loss” for the University.
served on and chaired many of its committees and has been a tireless advocate
for New Zealand studies across all disciplines.
that rare talent of combining scholarly excellence with dissemination of
scholarship in the public arena, making her one of this country’s leading
Humanities and Social Studies Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Professor Jennifer
Windsor says Professor Wevers has been instrumental in the Centre’s
regeneration and success.
Wevers is renowned as a thinker, writer, and contributor to what it means to be
a New Zealander and she has an unwavering passion for the arts. She has also
impressed upon others her wise judgement, leadership and incredible foresight
about how to bring research to life.”
Wevers will remain involved with a number of projects at the University,
including co-producing Victoria’s second massive open online course for the edX
member and History lecturer Associate Professor Kate Hunter steps in as the
Centre’s new director on Monday 31 July.
Professor Hunter has had a long association with the Stout Research Centre, and
Professor Wevers is delighted she has been appointed as her successor. To
consolidate the links between the Stout Research Centre and its wider networks,
Associate Professor Hunter will continue to hold her academic role in the
Peruvian master weaver Máximo Laura is one of his
country's living treasures and his giant works have been shown
throughout the world. Using five thousand year old weaving techniques,
his designs blend the contemporary with the traditional. Maximo is
currently in New Zealand, showing some of his large intensely coloured
works and taking workshops to share his skills and philosophy of
weaving, as a guest of Creative Fibre NZ. His exhibition Eternal Vision
is on at Pataka in Porirua. Jul 23, 2017
Philip Temple and Emma Neale have edited Manifesto after
receiving around 500 poems from established through to emerging poets.
The collection is in four parts: Politics, Rights, Environment and
Conflict and the book is published by Otago University Press. They talk
to Lynn Freeman about the rich history of political poetry in New
Zealand. Jul 23, 2017
The country's only gallery committed to craft, design
and architecture has a new home, an Auckland warehouse redesigned and
kitted out in a 630-thousand dollar makeover. All will be revealed
later this week when the new Objectspace gallery on Rose Street in
Ponosonby opens its doors. The new not-for-profit gallery's much bigger
- all the better to show the work of designers and architects. Lynn
Freeman speaks to Objectspace Director Kim Paton, and Chairperson Ben
Corban and Managing Director of Design Studio Alt Group. Jul 23, 2017
We're in the middle of a new season of locally-made
Sunday Theatres on TVNZ One - all, as they say, plucked from the
nation's headlines. Why Does Love told the story of pop band the Dance
Exponents, this week sees Resolve, about Chris Crean who bravely fought
the Taranaki gangs (pictured), and next week more crime - the story of
the infamous Black Widow. Jul 23, 2017
It's an unusual title, but Susan Tolich can now call
herself New Zealand's first official Wikimedian-in-Residence. She's
doing a Master's of Museum and Heritage Studies at Victoria University
but has spent the past few weeks hunkered down at Auckland Museum. Jul 23, 2017
The extraordinary life of Elizabeth Pinfold, awarded the
Queen Elizabeth Medal for her work helping Belgian refugees during the
First World War, has been remembered at a ceremony at Kaori Cemetary by
members of her family. Jul 23, 2017
We make good documentaries in New Zealand, and nowhere
is that more obvious than at the International Film Festival.
This year is a gala one, with over a dozen top Kiwi documentary
features on show. But what's the first step in a
documentary? Simon Morris wanted to find out, and talked to three
of our best practitioners - Gaylene Preston (My year with Helen), Annie
Goldson (Kim Dotcom - Caught in the web) and Florian Habicht
(Spookers). Jul 23, 2017
Anne Salmond Hardback, 228 x 152mm , 512 pages 978 1 86940 865 7 Māori studies, 24 July 2017, $65.00 Auckland University Press.
Dame Anne Salmond’s most ambitious book to date.
In Tears of Rangi Dame Anne Salmond looks at New
Zealand as a site of cosmodiversity, a place where multiple worlds engage
and collide. Beginning with a fine-grained inquiry into the early period of
encounters between Māori and Europeans in New Zealand (1769–1840), Salmond then
investigates such clashes and exchanges in key areas of contemporary life –
waterways, land, the sea and people.
We live in a world of gridded maps, Outlook calendars
and balance sheets – making it seem that this is the nature of reality itself.
But in New Zealand, concepts of whakapapa and hau, complex networks and
reciprocal exchange, may point to new ways of understanding interactions
between peoples, and between people and the natural world. Like our ancestors,
Anne Salmond suggests, we too may have a chance to experiment across
Tears of Rangi
has also provided the catalyst for a documentary series, Artefact, produced by
Jane Reeves (Greenstone Pictures) and featuring Salmond talking to local and
international authorities about ‘experiments across worlds’. It releases on
Māori Television early next year.
About the author
Dame Anne Salmond is Distinguished Professor of Māori
Studies at the University of Auckland and author of books including The
Trial of the Cannibal Dog: Captain Cook in the South Seas (2003, Penguin
UK, Penguin NZ, Yale University Press); Aphrodite’s Island: The European
Discovery of Tahiti (2007, University of California Press, Penguin NZ) and Bligh:
William Bligh in the South Seas (2011, University of California Press,
Penguin NZ). Among many honours and awards, she is an International Member of
the American Philosophical Society, a Foreign Associate of the US National
Academy of Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy; in 2013
she became New Zealander of the Year and winner of the Rutherford Medal from
the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Stella! Charlotte Wood in conversation with Emily Perkins
The Australian has described Charlotte Wood as one
of the country's 'most original and provocative writers.' She is the author of
five novels and two books of nonfiction. Her latest novel, The Natural Way of Things,
won the 2016 Stella Prize, the 2016 Indie Book of the Year and Novel of the
Year, and was joint winner of the Australian Prime Minister's Literary Award
for Fiction. It has been published in Britain and the US as well as many
countries in Europe. In 2016 Charlotte was named the Charles Perkins Centre's
inaugural Writer in Residence at the University of Sydney. Charlotte is joined
in conversation by novelist Emily
Perkins to discuss just what fiction can do in these troubling
times, and what it is to write into the world from Australasia.
DATE: Monday 24 July TIME:
12.15 - 1.15pm VENUE:
Te Papa Marae, Level 4, Te Papa
We hope to have books
available for sale, cash only.
Award of $3,000 available to writers over the age of 35yrs
The Lilian Ida Smith Award is
offered by the NZ Society of Authors PEN Inc (NZSA) thanks to a
bequest from Lilian Ida Smith, a music teacher of Whanganui who
had a keen interest in the arts.
Lilian left part of her legacy to the NZSA to 'assist people aged
35yrs and over to embark upon or further a literary career'.
The $3,000 award is to assist writers of
non-fiction, fiction, poetry, comic / graphic novels and
drama for adults and children. Applicants need to be aged 35
years and over, working towards completion of a specific
project, and members of the NZSA.
Applicants are expected to be either in the early
stages of their writing career, or to be someone for whom
opportunities to fulfill their potential have been limited.
Past recipients of the Lilian Ida Smith
Award have used the award to purchase a laptop and to pay for
childcare in order to schedule time for themselves to write in.
Deadline for applications is 30
Membership of the NZ Society of Authors PEN Inc (NZSA) is open to
all budding and established writers. NZSA advocates for and
represents writers and is affiliated with International PEN. It
provides a mentorship programme, a manuscript assessment
programme, manuscript services, contract advice, grants and other
opportunities, information about writing and publishing via a
fortnightly e-news and a quarterly magazine and other membership
When: Wednesday 23 August, 6pm – keep this date in your diary. Full
details to be emailed in early August. In the meanwhile, here are some
other happenings at Takapuna Library that may be of interest to you or your
friends, family and other connections:
Come and enjoy tea with us. Yemyung-won is an
Institute of Korean tea ceremony.
We try to preserve and revive this beautiful tradition of manners and courtesy,
consolidating tradition and tea in a ceremonial way.
Speakers from Procare Health
will talk at Takapuna Library about preventing cardiovascular disease, healthy
eating and lifestyle. The talk will be followed by a Q & A session and
This talk is jointly organised by The Asian Network Inc. and Takapuna Library.
(Chinese translation provided). 来自Procare 初级保健机构的专家将与您谈谈什么是健康的生活方式，怎 样预防糖尿病及心血管病，欢迎提问和参与讨论。该活动由Takabuna图 书馆与亚洲健康联络中心（TANI）联合主办。（中文翻译提供）上午10点15 分起有茶水供应。