Congratulations to Elizabeth Knox, Fleur Adcock, and Gavin Bishop! PM Awardees for Literary Achievement


Victoria University Press send their warmest congratulations to the 2019 recipients of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement: Elizabeth Knox, Fleur Adcock and Gavin Bishop, and to the recipient of the 2019 Creative New Zealand Michael King Writer’s Fellowship, Mere Whaanga.

Elizabeth Knox

Elizabeth Knox is one of New Zealand’s leading writers. She is the author of fourteen novels, three novellas and a collection of essays. Now published in thirteen languages, The Vintner’s Luck won the Deutz Medal for Fiction in the 1999 Montana New Zealand Book Awards, and the Tasmania Pacific Region Prize.

Dreamhunter won the 2006 Esther Glen Medal and its sequel, Dreamquake (2007), was a Michael L. Printz Honor book for 2008 and was named an ALA, a CCBC, Booklist, and New York Library Best Book.

A collection of essays, The Love School, won the biography and memoir section of the New Zealand Post book awards in 2009. Mortal Fire won a NZ Post Children’s Book Award and was a finalist in the LA Times Book Awards.

Elizabeth is an Arts Foundation Laureate and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002. Her most recent novel, The Absolute Book (published in September this year), has been described as ‘a declaration of love for story, for literature, for libraries’ and ‘an unpredictable and intelligent work of imagination’. On Radio New Zealand, Louise O’Brien stated, ‘I didn't want it to finish, I completely adored it, and I think everyone should own it and gift it.’

Fleur Adcock

Born in Auckland in 1934, Fleur Adcock is one of New Zealand’s most significant writers. She is a poet, editor and translator who resides in Britain. She has published many collections of poems, including, in recent years, Glass Wings(2013), The Land Ballot (2014) and Hoard (2017). She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1961 Festival of Wellington Poetry Award, the Jessie Mackay Prize in 1968 and 1972, the Buckland Award in 1968 and 1979, the New Zealand National Book Award in 1984, an OBE in 1986, the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2006, and a CNZM for services to literature in 2008.

Fleur Adcock’s Collected Poems were published in February 2019. This landmark publication gathers over six decades of her poetry in one beautifully produced hardcover volume.

As one reviewer stated, the book honours Adcock as a ‘master poet who is rightly regarded as a taonga of both New Zealand and the United Kingdom.’