Michael Morrissey

ANZL Member

Michael Morrissey is a postmodern author of eleven books of poetry, two short story collections, three novellas, one full length novel and a memoir.  He has edited five other books, mainly comprising short stories and poetry, written for stage, film and radio and is a regular columnist, reviewer and feature writer. His anthology The New Fiction was the first anthology of New Zealand postmodern fiction, and his more than 80 published short stories, ranging from social neo-realism to the surreal and postmodern, have been widely anthologised. A film entitled Daytime Tiger made by Costa Botes  – like his memoir Taming the Tiger – focused on manic-depression which Michael describes as a ‘joyous affliction’.

Michael’s accolades are numerous and include the PEN Best First Book of Prose Award (1982), Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition (1984) and Lilian Ida Smith Poetry Award (1986). In 1979, he was the first Writer-in-Residence at the University of Canterbury. In 1985 he was the first New Zealander to participate in the International Writing Programme at the University of Iowa. He was also Writer-in-Residence at the University of Waikato (2012).

Michael has been guest or chair at Victoria University (1980), University of Iowa (1985), University in Hamilton Ontario (1985) and Going West Literary Festival (1990). He studied the teaching of creative writing in America, then taught creative writing at, among others, Auckland University and the NZ Institute of Business Studies.

He is currently completing a poetry collection entitled Poems from Hotel Middlemore and a novel Rajah’s Lives.

'The thirty-five of us were in the country of dream-merchants, and strange things were bound to happen.' - Anne Kennedy

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