Philip Temple

ANZL Member

Philip Temple has an impressive writing curriculum spanning more than 50 years. He is author of numerous fiction and non-fiction work for both adults and children, often on the subjects of New Zealand history and the natural world. His anthropomorphic novels, such as Beak of the Moon, are unique in New Zealand literature. His biography of the Wakefield family, A Sort of Conscience, earned several awards, including Melbourne University’s Ernest Scott History Prize. Several of his books have been published internationally. He has written extensively for television, contributed to countless magazines and journals, and been an editor for the NZ Listener and Landfall. Amongst his numerous accolades, in 2005 he received a Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement and has been appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to literature. In 2007, his examined work earned him the higher degree of Doctor of Literature from the University of Otago.

Philip received the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writer’s Residency (2003), and previously held both the Menton Katherine Mansfield and Robert Burns Fellowships. He is a long standing, active member of the New Zealand Society of Authors, serving as judge, chair, president, vice-president and international delegate.

In 2014 Philip’s mountaineering novel, The Mantis, was published as an e-book in the UK.  The NZ Listener described it as ‘at the summit of fiction writing’. His tenth novel, MiStory, published in the same year, looks at what the future may hold if we carry on with ‘business as usual’. A 50th anniversary edition of his book The Sea and the Snow was released mid 2016.

More recently Philip published Life As A Novel: A Biography of Maurice Shadbolt. Volume One 1932–1973  through David Ling (2018). Volume Two will be published in early 2021.

Philip Temple lives in Dunedin with his wife, poet and novelist, Diane Brown.



Philip Temple’s website

NZ Society of Authors writer page

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Penguin Random House author page

Auckland University Press author page

Noted edited extract prologue from Life as a Novel (Nov, 2018)

Radio NZ interview discussing Life As A Novel Volumes 1 & 2 (Oct, 2018)

Bibliography: Philip Temple



MiStory (Frontpublishing, 2014)

I Am Always With You (Vintage, 2006)

White Shadows, Memories of Marienbad (Vintage, 2005)

To Each His Own (Hazard, 1999)

Dark of the Moon (1993)

Sam (Hodder & Stoughton, 1984)

Beak of the Moon (Collins, 1981)

Stations (Collins, 1979)

The Explorer (Hodder & Stoughton, 1975)


Creative Nonfiction

Chance is a Fine Thing (Memoir: Vintage, 2009)

The Last True Explorer: Into Darkest New Guinea (Memoir: Godwit, 2002)

New Zealand Explorers: Great Journeys of Discovery (Whitcoulls, 1985)



Manifesto Aotearoa: 101 Political Poems ([with Emma Neale] Otago UP, 2017)


'...poetry makes intimate everything that it touches.' - Michael Harlow

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