Tag Archives: Eleanor Catton

Arts Foundation Awards – and Kate Camp is off to Menton

So delighted to see Kate Camp is off to Menton and two writers recognised: Eleanor Catton and Dylan Horrocks. Congratulations.

Eleven artists, two philanthropists and four arts organisations are recipients of awards and donations at the 2016 New Zealand Arts Awards. Come and celebrate the Laureate and New Generation Awards, Harriet Friedlander New York Residency, the Award for Patronage and the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship with us.

Congratulations to:

2016 Laureate Award Recipients
Each Laureate Award includes a cash award of $50,000:

Eleanor Catton – Writer
Lyell Cresswell – Composer
Dylan Horrocks – Cartoonist/Graphic Novelist/Writer
Peter Robinson – Visual Artist
Taika Waititi (pictured above) – Film Maker

About the Laureate Award:
The Laureate Award is an investment in excellence across a range of art forms for an artist with prominence and outstanding potential for future growth.  Their work is rich but their richest work still lies ahead of them.  The award should recognise a moment in the artist’s career that will allow them to have their next great success.

2016 New Generation Award Recipients
Each New Generation Award includes a cash award of $25,000:

Parris Goebel – Choreographer
André Hemer – Visual Artist
Alex Taylor – Composer

About the Award:
New Generation artists are the hot shots, the ones to watch, and the ones who have an X-factor that sets them apart from their peers. They have assured potential. Their work is exciting. They are independent, individual and show outstanding promise. They also display a depth of thinking and consistency that gives their work strength.

Harriet Friedlander New York Residency
This residency enables an artist(s) to live in New York for as long as $80,000 lasts them:

Chris Pryor and Miriam Smith – Film Makers

About the Residency
Michael and Jason Friedlander asked the Arts Foundation to assist with the selection and promotion of an artist to receive up to $80,000 to have a New York experience every two years. The Residency is being made possible by a legacy gifted by Harriet Friedlander, who was a dedicated supporter of the arts. She also loved New York. She believed that any young artist exposed to the city would learn and grow in unimaginable ways.

2016 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellow

Kate Camp – Poet/Writer

About the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship
For the past forty-six years, the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship has enabled a selected New Zealand writer to live for up to six months in Menton, France. There, they have access to the writing room in Villa Isola Bella where one of New Zealand’s most famous writers, Katherine Mansfield, once lived.

Award for Patronage Recipients

John and Jo Gow – Philanthropists

The Award for Patronage Recipients are given $20,000 to distribute to artists or arts organisations of their choice to celebrate the occasion of the award. All recipients to date have chosen to donate $20,000 of their own so they can give away $40,000 to artists, organisations or projects of their choice:

John and Jo’s chosen donation recipients are:

•    The Big Idea
•    Tautai
•    Q Theatre
•    Sculpture On The Gulf

$480,000 will be awarded to the recipients at the New Zealand Arts Awards event night on Wednesday 23 November. With the majority of the funds awarded on the evening being generated by private donations, the Awards are also a celebration of philanthropic support for the arts.

The awards are the highest value, multi-discipline arts awards in New Zealand, and since the inaugural Laureates received their awards in 2000, the Arts Foundation has awarded life-changing monetary and honorary awards to over 190 of New Zealand’s finest artists. By the end of this year, the Arts Foundation will have awarded New Zealand artists $5.2million.

We are very much looking forward to seeing those that have purchased tickets at the Awards next week. If you would like to come and celebrate the achievements of this year’s recipients then select your tickets from our website now.

The 2016 New Zealand Arts Awards
From 6pm, 23 November 2016
Shed 10, Auckland Waterfront

Pre and post ceremony canapés are served with Gladstone Vineyard wines and Yeastie Boys beers

A Reserve $75.00
B Reserve $68.00

Dress: Cocktail/Business

yes! reading out of a love of reading … and a desire to read on – Eleanor Catton’s talk at Melbourne Writers’ Festival at Horoeka/Lancewood

On Purpose: A Talk Delivered at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival 2015

  • by Eleanor Catton


    Reading is a creative act: it cannot happen automatically, and it cannot happen passively. Whether you are reading an academic argument or a poem, whether you are reading a dream or an appetite or tracks in the snow, you are using your imagination in the sense that you are seeing something more than what is there. You see not just the words, but what they mean; not just the people, but who they are; not just the shapes, but what the shapes suggest, and how, and why.

    It is impossible to read something when you are bored—in fact, this is a contradiction in terms, for boredom implies an imaginative lack, and reading is both the exercise of the imagination, and the enlargement of it. You can watch television when you are distracted or drunk or half-asleep—the picture will go on without you—but if you are any of these things with a book in your hand then you cannot really be said to be reading. On screen, sight and sound, which are external to the body, are separated from the bodily senses of smell, taste, and touch; on the page, all the senses must be invoked equally. So too with the immaterial dimensions: our imaginations, after all, are not only sensory, but emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and even moral.

    rest of talk here

‘The Critic in New Zealand’ by Rosabel Tan: A second offering from the Horoeka / Lancewood Reading Grant

‘The Critic in New Zealand’ by Rosabel Tan

  • “The only way to save a rhinoceros is to save the environment in which it lives, because there’s a mutual dependency between it and millions of other species of both animals and plants.”

    — David Attenborough, BBC Interview

    Early in his career, Wystan Curnow was invited to give a lecture on what it meant to be a critic. “But that presented certain difficulties,” he later wrote in the Bulletin of New Zealand Art History. “For instance, I was not sure I was one.”

    It was 1974 and Curnow was working at the University of Auckland’s English department. He was, by definition of his employment, regularly engaged in the business of literary criticism, but he had avoided being a critic of books by New Zealand writers. As for his other interests, he conceded he might be considered an art critic. “At least,” he wrote, “if a dozen or so notes and brief essays published over a period of fifteen years in magazines all but one of which are now defunct makes one an art critic in New Zealand.” Ruefully, he concluded, it seemed it did.

    Like many others before and after him, Curnow’s hesitation stemmed from the occupational versatility our country demands from its creative practitioners. Because of how small our population is, the market for any art form is prematurely capped and its growth is precariously stunted, economically and artistically. Industries have to be propped up by public funding and philanthropy, and being able to specialise as a writer or an artist or a musician becomes either a unique luxury or a financially risky lifestyle choice.

    Because of this risk, artists often end up expanding their talents horizontally, whether they want to or not. It’s remarkably and sometimes advantageously easy to do in a country with so many shoes to fill. We see musicians who are also teachers who are also music writers who are also promoters. We see actors who are also publicists who are also producers who are also casting agents. We see the rise of the cultural ambassador: people who – rather than honing a specific craft – hone the skills of an entire industry. Like plants, we grow in the direction of the sun, but here the sun shines with a hazy, erratic glow.


  • For the rest of the essay see here

Eleanor Catton’s Horoeka/ Lancewood Reading Grant kicks off with a fabulous essay by Amy Brown

‘The conditions, in the wake of this reading, are ideal for beginning to cultivate my own barren planet, to write my new poem, and for that I am very grateful.’      Amy Brown 2015



Eleanor Catton on the grant she has established and to date funded (contributions are welcome!):

‘I established the Horoeka / Lancewood Reading Grant to give New Zealand writers the means and opportunity not to write, but to read, and to share what they have read with their colleagues in the arts.

I hope that this endeavour will challenge our tendency to measure the value of art in the proof of artistic production and productivity, and that it will restore value to the crucial but in many ways unquantifiable activity of reading. Most of all, however, I hope that the grant will encourage free and curious discussion about books.

Each grant is worth NZD$2000, with half awarded at the beginning of the reading period, and half at the end, whereupon the recipient submits a short essay that discusses what they have read and what they thought about it. These essays are then published on this site along with a bibliography.’

For the rest of her statement see here.

The inaugural recipient of this timely project is Amy Brown whose debut poetry collection, The Odour of Sanctity, was published in 2013. She teaches at the University of Melbourne where she was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing.

‘Cultivating the Barren Planet’ by Amy Brown

  • ‘For the last year or so, I have been drawn to news items such as:

    The Country Fire Authority implores residents in rural areas to make Fire Plans so that when it becomes imperative to leave their homes the temptation to stay may be over-ruled by a rational list of instructions.

    Asylum seekers intercepted in Australian waters are being stripped of their personal effects — hearing aids, spectacles, prosthetic limbs and medication — on arrival at detention centres.

    Hundreds of Mars One applicants are hoping to participate in a small Dutch not-for-profit organisation’s plan to send four civilians on a one-way mission to Mars in 2026.

    These stories have struck me, I believe, because I’ve been interpreting them as extreme extensions of my own expatriate situation. In 2014, I applied for permanent residency in Australia, married an Australian, and so began legally relinquishing New Zealand as my home. My country of birth was not being consumed by fire tornadoes or bombed to pieces; I was not fleeing anything. Nor was I choosing to fly for seven months to a planet whose atmosphere could not support my life. However, these news stories gave me a new, oblique angle from which to question when and why I felt ‘at home’ in Australia, how that affected my connection to New Zealand, and, generally, what it means to belong to a place.’

You can read the rest of her essay here.

Current recipients include Craig Cliff, Alex Lodge, Rosabel Tan and Alex Mitcalf Wilson.

New literary translation prize for NZ secondary schools, to be judged by Eleanor Catton


New literary translation prize for NZ secondary schools, to be judged by Eleanor Catton
New Zealand’s leading national reading charity, the New Zealand Book Council, is pleased to announce the inaugural Moving Words prize – a literary translation prize for New Zealand secondary schools.
The prize has been developed by the New Zealand Book Council in conjunction with the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation and Wai-te-ata Press at Victoria University of Wellington, and the Ministry of Education. The prize is a reflection of New Zealand’s multi-ethnic and multilingual society and aims to inspire and reward excellence in literary translation by secondary-level students.
“We are delighted to be able to offer an avenue for the celebration of literature and language in our secondary schools and to inspire students to approach writing, and indeed reading, from a fresh perspective,” says New Zealand Book Council CEO, Catriona Ferguson.
Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton will chair a judging panel that will select the top three entries out of 20 shortlisted entries.
The prize is awarded for the best previously unpublished translation into English, te reo Māori or New Zealand Sign Language of a piece of poetry or prose of no longer than 400 words.
Prizes are:
·         $500 to the first place winner(s) and $500 to their school.
·         $250 to the second place winner(s) and $250 to their school.
·         $125 to the third place winner(s) and $125 to their school.
·         A special prize will be awarded by the Honourable Chris Finlayson to the best translation from Latin or Greek.

Translations will be judged on accuracy, literary merit and on the entrant’s choice of the original piece for thematic and stylistic complexity.
The award is open to New Zealand residents or citizens who are attending a New Zealand secondary school, or receiving home schooling at a secondary school level, and are under 19 years of age at the closing date for submissions to the competition.
Closing date for submissions is 26 September 2014.
Entry forms can be downloaded from http://www.movingwordsnz.weebly.com or by emailing movingwordsnz@bookcouncil.org.nz.
For further information, visit http://www.movingwordsnz.weebly.com.
For more information on the work of the New Zealand Book Council go to:
For media enquiries, please contact New Zealand Book Council Communications Managers:
Rachel O’Neill (Rachel@bookcouncil.org.nz)
Phone: +64 4 801 5546
Fax: +64 4 801 5547
Catherine Cradwick (CatherineC@bookcouncil.org.nz)
Phone: +64 4 801 5546
Fax: +64 4 801 5547

Eleanor Catton Every now and then you get to read a novel that elevates you far beyond the bric-a-brac of everyday routine


Earlier this year I got a proof copy of Eleanor’s book to review for the Herald. It was, as my review attests, an extraordinary reading experience. It seemed to be a significant and vital contribution to the local literary landscape let alone the wider global setting. To sit glued to the TV this morning, with twitter alongside, to hear her announced as winner and to follow her speech (so composed, thoughtful, inspirational) was pinch-your-self-material. Even from this far, from out from the city and its hubbub of life, from bookshops and libraries and book chat, I wanted to leap for joy. This is a marvelous book, and its author inhabits this world with a rare mix of graciousness, humility, courage, outspokenness, daring, warmth and kindness. These qualities mark her as a person (as they did with Margaret Mahy), but they also mark her writing. In her speech, she contrasted the need to write for money and the need to write with other values in mind. Eleanor writes out of love — out of a love of writing and words, but equally importantly, out of a love of humanity, her close friends and family, and then beyond. Cheers!


The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
(Victoria University Press hardback $45/paperback $35)

Every now and then you get to read a novel that elevates you far beyond the bric-a-brac of everyday routine, takes you apart, reassembles you, and leaves you feeling as though you have been on holiday with a genius.

Eleanor Catton’s astonishing new novel, The Luminaries, does just that. It was no surprise to me, really, because her debut novel, The Rehearsal, was daring, fresh, beautifully crafted and award-winning. It has been translated into 12 languages.

Don’t let the hefty size put you off (more than 800 pages) because you enter the world of a novelist who, in her late 20s, writes with such wisdom, compassion, elegance and craft you don’t want to depart that world in a hurry.

See the rest of my Herald review here.