Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Deepening Stream - The History of the New Zealand Literary Fund (1947‒1988)

We’re delighted that Elizabeth Caffin, co-author of this book will be our guest speaker on Wednesday 1 June at 12.15pm.

  At a time when state funding of the arts is under threat, the history of the New Zealand Literary Fund (19471988) provides a compelling example of how vital that assistance has been in the growth of New Zealand literature. In her talk Elizabeth Caffin suggests this is the back story of how the literary arts in this country reached the maturity, the confidence and the variety we know today. The fund was a small amount of public money skilfully dispensed over forty years to hundreds of writers and publishers. Unobtrusively but persistently, the fund and the dedicated men and women who allotted its largesse laid the foundations of the literary culture we enjoy today. From a small gesture of government patronage in the postwar world, it slowly grew, expanding its reach, enlarging its ambitions and acquiring partners. This is its story.

About the speaker:

Elizabeth Caffin has frequently written on fiction, poetry and the history of New Zealand publishing, and is a former director of Auckland University Press. She served two terms on the Literary Fund Advisory Committee.

She has been a member of the New Zealand Press Council, a Guardian of the Alexander Turnbull Library and president of the Book Publishers Association.

Elizabeth was awarded an MNZM for services to NZ literature and an honorary doctorate from the University of Auckland; she also wrote the section on poetry from 1945 in the Oxford History of New Zealand Literature and edited The Collected Poems of Allen Curnow to be published by AUP. 

Please join us on Wednesday 1 June in the MBIE Building (formerly the Defence Building) in Stout Street - up the steps by the HOME Café signage.

On arrival, you will be directed to a ground floor meeting room and the talk will commence promptly at 12.15pm. 

To listen to many earlier MCH public history talks please go to: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/handsonhistory/downloads-and-podcasts and for more information about the talks contact lyn.belt@mch.govt.nz

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