4 Aug 2011

Ian Wedde named Poet Laureate

3:07 pm on 4 August 2011

Ian Wedde has been named as New Zealand's new Poet Laureate.

Mr Wedde is an academic in the departments of English and Art History at Auckland University and has been writing poems for over 40 years.

He says he was, ironically, lost for words upon receiving the award.

"I was completely blown away - I was stunned. I had a suspicion that my name was being put forward, but I certainly wasn't expecting it. It as a huge surprise - and a very nice one."

Mr Wedde will work in close collaboration with the National Library of New Zealand receiving $80,000 in funding over a two-year term to produce a number of writing projects.

The outgoing Poet Laureate is Cilla McQueen. Her book of poems The Radio Room is a finalist in the New Zealand Book Awards.