Poet Laureate Award – call for nominations

5 May 2015: New Zealand Poet Laureate Award – call for public nominations

The National Library of New Zealand is inviting nominations for the next New Zealand Poet Laureate.

The award celebrates outstanding contributions to New Zealand poetry. For a two-year term, the Laureate is supported by an $80,000 grant from the National Library, through the Alexander Turnbull Library, to create new work and promote poetry throughout the country.

“Each Laureate quite literally brings a new voice to their term,” said Chris Szekely, the Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library. “They will be an advocate and a public presence for poetry, and involved in events which promote the reading and writing of poetry.”

The National Library considers public nominations for the award together with nominations from New Zealand libraries, universities and creative writing programmes. The Laureate is appointed by the Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library on advice from the New Zealand Poet Laureate Advisory Group.

As well as the financial support over two years, the Laureate receives a stipend of wine from Te Mata Estate (which created the award in 1996) and an individual tokotoko, or ceremonial carved orator’s stick.

The Te Mata Estate Poets Laureate were Bill Manhire, Hone Tuwhare, Elizabeth Smither, Brian Turner, and Jenny Bornholdt. The National Library, which has run the award since 2007, has appointed Michele Leggott, Cilla McQueen, Ian Wedde and in 2013 the current New Zealand Poet Laureate, Vincent O’Sullivan.

Nominations close, Monday 6 July, 2015

More information, and nomination forms


Michael Smith, Department of Internal Affairs, 04 816 4035 or 027 807 6741

Peter Ireland, National Library, 04 474 3024 or email Peter.Ireland@dia.govt.nz