new zealand electronic poetry centre



Poetry at the National Library of New Zealand

Friday 11 March 2016

A Circle of Laureates

Back from left: Vincent O’Sullivan, C. K. Stead, Ian Wedde, Bill Manhire, Jenny Bornholdt, Rob Tuwhare. Front: Cilla McQueen, Michele Leggott, John Buck (Te Mata Estate), Brian Turner, Bill McNaught (National Librarian) and Elizabeth Smither. (Credit: Mark Beatty)

Work by ten laureates was on show as part of Writers Week at the 2016 New Zealand Festival in Wellington. The event  was co-hosted by the National Library, which administers the New Zealand Poet Laureate programme, and Te Mata Estate Winery, which initiated a laureateship in the 1990s and is still closely involved in the current programme. Victoria University Press publisher Fergus Barrowman MC-ed the evening, which drew a capacity audience of 200.

The five Te Mata Estate laureates were up first: Bill Manhire (1997-99), Hone Tuwhare (1999-2001) represented by his son Rob, Elizabeth Smither (2001-03), Brian Turner (2003-05) and Jenny Bornholdt (2005-07). Then came the five New Zealand laureates appointed to date: Michele Leggott (2007-09), Cilla McQueen (2009-11), Ian Wedde (2011-13), Vincent O'Sullivan (2013-15) and CK Stead (2015-17). 

We present video excerpts of all ten performers and thank them for permission to make the material available online. Files of the full reading appear on this page and will also be archived at the National Library. 

Recordings up

Introduction - Fergus Barrowman - video link Bill Manhire - video link Rob Tuwhare - video link Elizabeth Smither - video link
Intro: Fergus Barrowman


Bill Manhire Rob Tuwhare Elizabeth Smither
Brian Turner - video link Jenny Bornhold - video link Michele Leggott - video link Cilla McQueen - video link
Brian Turner


Jenny Bornhold Michele Leggott Cilla McQueen
Ian Wedde - video link Vincent O'Sullivan - video link C K Stead - video link Closing: Fergus Barrowman - video link
Ian Wedde


Vincent O'Sullivan C. K. Stead Closing: Fergus Barrowman
Complete recording: Part 1 | Part 2
Links up

Last updated 25 May, 2017