Joy Cowley, Cilla McQueen and James McNeish received the annual Prime Minister’s Award for Literay Acheivement tonight.
Each receive $60,000 in recognition of their contribution to New Zealand literature.
Minister for Arts and Culture Christopher Finlayson, presenting the awards at Premier House on behalf of the Prime Minister, said the awards rewarded excellence and helped raise the profile of New Zealand writers.
These awards aren’t for a particular work, they recognise significant contribution to New Zealand literature over many years.
Previous winners are:
•Fiction: Janet Frame (2003), Maurice Gee (2004), Margaret Mahy (2005), Patricia Grace (2006), Fiona Farrell (2007), Lloyd Jones (2008), CK Stead (2009)
•Poetry: Hone Tuwhare (2003), Kevin Ireland (2004), Alistair Te Ariki Campbell (2005), Vincent O’Sullivan (2006), Bill Manhire (2007), Elizabeth Smithers (2008), Brian Turner (2009)
•Non-fiction: Michael King (2003), Anne Salmond (2004), Philip Temple (2005), Judith Binney (2006), Dick Scott (2007), WH (Bill) Oliver (2008), Dr Ranganui Walker (2009).
If you’re looking for some Labour Weekend reading I can recommend Cowley’s just-published memoir, Navigation.