Michael Morrissey

ANZL Member

Michael Morrissey is a postmodern author of twelve 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’. In Taming the Tiger (2011) Michael describes  his experiences with bipolar disorder, including two serious bipolar episodes and his forced hospitalisation. . An abridgement of Taming the Tiger in five episodes was read on National Radio on 23–27 July 2012.

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.

Morrissey’s novel, Tropic of Skorpeo, published in 2012, is a satiric sci-fi fantasy in thriller mode.



Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page


New Zealand Literature File full bibliography

Poetry New Zealand site poet page

Big Idea interview discussing contemporary writing and reviewing (Feb, 2014)

Bibliography: Michael Morrissey



Poems from Hotel Middlemore (Cold Hub Press, 2018)

Memory Gene Pool (Cold Hub Press, 2012)

From the Swimming Pool Question (Zenith Publishing, 2006)

A Case of Briefs (Van Guard Xpress, 1989)

The American Hero Loses His Tie (Van Guard Xpress, 1989)

New Zealand – What Went Wrong? (Van Guard Xpress, 1988)

Dr Strangelove’s Prescription (Van Guard Xpress, 1988)

Taking in the View (Auckland University Press, 1986)

Dreams, (Sword Press, 1981)

She’s Not the Child of Sylvia Plath (Sword Press, 1981)

Closer to the Bone (Sword Press, 1981)

Make Love in All the Rooms (Caveman Press, 1978)



Tropic of Skorpeo ([Novel], Steam Press, 2012)

Heart of the Volcano ([Novella], BookCaster Press, 2000)

Paradise to Come ([Novella containing: Terra Incognita 1526 and Captain Nemo’s Child], Flamingo, 1997)

The Fat Lady & The Astronomer ([Short fiction] Sword Press, 1981)

Octavio’s Last Invention ([Short fiction] Brick Row Publishing, 1991)


Creative Nonfiction

Taming the Tiger ([Memoir], Polygraphia, 2011)



46 by 44 (2009)

Essential New Zealand Short Stories Second Edition (2009)

Sunday 22 (2006)

Flamingo Anthology of New Zealand Short Stories Extended edition (2004)

Essential New Zealand Short Stories (2002)

Author’s Choice (2001)

Flamingo Anthology of New Zealand Short Stories (2000)

100 NZ Short Stories (1997)

Rutherford’s Dreams (1995)

Beethoven’s Ears (1995)

Faber Book of Contemporary South Pacific Stories (1994)

The Oxford Book of New Zealand Short Stories (1992)

Tabasco Sauce and Ice Cream (1990)

Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories (1989)

Antipodes New Writing (1987)

Short Story International (1987)

Metro Fiction (1987)

I Have Seen the Future (1986)

The New Fiction (1985)

New Zealand Short Stories (4th Series) (1984)

Listener Short Stories 3 (1984)

New Zealand Writing Since 1945 (1983)

All The Dangerous Animals Are in Zoos (1981)



The Flamingo Anthology of New Zealand Short Stories – Extended Edition, (Flamingo, 2004)

The Flamingo Anthology of New Zealand Short Stories (Flamingo, 2000)

New Zealand’s Top 10 ( Moa Beckett, 1993)

The New Fiction (Lindon Publishing, 1985)

The Globe Tapes ([with Mike Johnson and Rosemary Menzies], Hard Echo Press, 1985)

'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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