Paula Morris named Arts Laureate for literature
6 September 2022
Paula Morris (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Manuhiri, Ngāti Whātua) from the University of Auckland is the recipient of the 2022 Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Award for literature.
A novelist, short story writer and essayist, Paula Morris MNZM is an associate professor in the University of Auckland's Faculty of Arts where she directs the Master of Creative Writing programme.
She can now add the 2022 Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Award for literature to her accolades, and is delighted with the honour.
“A laureateship means you've been selected by your peers rather than made an application, so it's very special – and a huge surprise.
“To be part of a group of artists, from different media, offers a new community and new possibilities of collaboration. I'm really honoured, and grateful for the generous financial award as well. It's taken a lot of stress out of my ambitious travel and writing plans this semester, while I'm on leave."
Dr Morris is the founder of the Academy of New Zealand Literature and Wharerangi, the Māori literature hub and co-edited the landmark anthologies Ko Aotearoa Tātou (2020) and A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices from Aotearoa NZ (2021). She is currently working on an anthology of contemporary Māori short fiction.
This semester she is travelling in Asia where she will take up a writing residency in Kyoto, Japan in October.
A laureateship means you've been selected by your peers rather than made an application, so it's very special – and a huge surprise.
Paula Morris joins six other prominent New Zealand artists from a diverse range of disciplines who are being recognised for their outstanding practice and significant impact.
The other artists are: Dr Maureen Lander MNZM, a University Creative Arts and Industries alumna (for multi-media installation); Tame Iti in the multi-disciplinary category; the Mata Aho Collective (installation); Areta Wilkinson (Māori arts); Hone Kouka MNZM (theatre and film) and Lindah Lepou (multi-disciplinary), who is the recipient of the inaugural Toi Kō Iriiri Queer Laureate Award, the first of its kind in Aotearoa.
2022 marks the 22nd year of the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Awards, which sees the foundation recognise exceptional artists with a financial gift (this year totalling $30,000), entirely funded by arts’ supporters from around the country.
Julianne Evans | Media adviser
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