Pacific Media Watch

20 May 2016

NZ: Literature academy launched to support local writers

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Dr Paula Morris with Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh from the University of Auckland at the launch of the Academy of New Zealand Literature at the Gus Fisher Gallery in Auckland. Image: ANZL

AUCKLAND (ANZL/Pacific Media Watch): The Academy of New Zealand Literature, also known as Te Whare Mātātuhi o Aotearoa, has been launched this month to support the country’s writers.

ANZL, an online initiative, was launched by Dr Paula Morris, a senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Auckland.

Dr Morris said being a writer could be a lonely task that involved a constant struggle with self-belief.

“It’s easy to imagine that no one cares about you. I see the academy as helping writers to sustain themselves creatively, intellectually and emotionally and as a way of feeling part of a community,” she said.

A press release sent to Pacific Media Watch describes the academy as a “constantly growing magazine” offering literary content and research sources that can be used academically by students, researchers and teachers or can be used by publishers, booksellers and literary festival directors both in New Zealand and overseas.

“I’m working with contacts in the Baltic region, Vienna and the South Pacific to establish writer exchanges, and I’m particularly keen on developing opportunities across the Southern Hemisphere, especially in southern Africa and South America,” Morris said.

Eminent writers such as Patricia Grace, Eleanor Catton and Witi Ihimaera are a few of the country’s household literary names that are associated with ANZL’s launch.

The academy was launched with seed money from the Vice Chancellor’s Strategic Development Fund at the University of Auckland.

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