Author(s): Ian Wedde; John Reynolds (Illustrator)
Ian Wedde has been a major presence in New Zealand poetry since his work began appearing in journals in the late 1960s. His first book of poetry appeared in 1971; his sixth book won the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry in 1978; his sixteenth and most recent was a finalist in 2014. By the mid-1980s, as well as shaping his own verse, he had become an influential critic and shaper of larger trends in poetry as one of the co-editors of The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse (1985) and The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry - Nga Kupu Titohu o Aotearoa (1989).
Ian Wedde is the author of sixteen collections of poetry, seven novels, two collections of essays, a collection of short stories, a monograph on the artist Bill Culbert, several art catalogues, a memoir, 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 New Zealand 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 (1977). 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. 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.