Vincent O’Sullivan

ANZL Member

Photo credit: Bruce Connew

The pre-eminent scholar and distinguished novelist, playwright, short story writer, poet, biographer and librettist Vincent O’Sullivan wears his considerable knowledge lightly. His writing is wry, erudite and generous, informed by a childhood spent in suburban Auckland and a deep interest in the multiplicity of humanity.

A graduate of the Universities of Auckland and Oxford, O’Sullivan has also made an outstanding contribution to NZ literary scholarship, illuminating the work of John Mulgan and James K. Baxter, and co-editing the five-volume edition Katherine Mansfield’s Collected Letters and the two-volume Complete Fiction.

Away from the academy he served as the Books’ Editor for the New Zealand Listener where he was also a trusted critic. He has been feted often, including with a Prime Minister’s Literary Award (2005) and a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2000), and has won the NZ Book Awards, in its various forms, three times for fiction and three for poetry.



New Zealand Book Council profile page

New Zealand Poet Laureate bio page

Victoria University Press author page

Penguin Books NZ author page

Steele Roberts author page

Bridget Williams Books (BWB) author page


Booksellers NZ review of And so it is (May, 2016)

Radio New Zealand interview on poets, poetry and Being Here: Selected Poems (June, 2015)

Radio New Zealand interview discussing Vincent’s work and life (Feb, 2014)

NZ Listener review of Us, then (Aug, 2013)

Bibliography: Vincent O’Sullivan



And So It Is (Victoria UP, 2016)

Being Here: Selected Poems (Victoria UP, 2015)

Us, Then (Victoria UP, 2013)

The Movie May Be Slightly Different (Victoria UP, 2011)

Further Convictions Pending: Poems 1998-2008 (Victoria UP, 2009)

Blame Vermeer (Victoria UP, 2007)

Homecoming (Victoria UP, 2004)

Nice Morning for it, Adam (Victoria UP, 2004)

On Longing (Four Winds Press, 2002)

Lucky Table (Victoria UP, 2001)

I’ll Tell You This Much (Pemmican Press, 2000)

Seeing You Asked (Victoria UP, 1999)

Selected Poems (Oxford UP, 1992)

The Pilate Tapes (Oxford UP, 1986)

The Rose Ballroom and Other Poems (McIndoe, 1982)

The Butcher Papers (Oxford UP, 1982)

Brother Jonathan, Brother Kafka (Oxford UP, 1979)

Butcher & Co. (Oxford UP, 1977)

From the Indian Funeral (McIndoe, 1976)

Bearings (Oxford UP, 1973)

Revenants (Prometheus Books, 1969)

Our Burning Time (Prometheus Books, 1965)



All This by Chance (Novel: Victoria UP, 2018)

The Families (Short stories: Victoria UP, 2014)

Pictures by Goya and Other Stories (Short stories: Penguin, 2006)

Believers to the Bright Coast (Novel: Penguin, 2001)

Let the River Stand (Novel: Random House, 1993)

Palms and Minarets: Selected Stories (Short stories: Victoria UP, 1992)

The Snow in Spain: Short Stories (Short stories: Allen & Unwin, 1990)

Survivals and Other Stories (Short stories: HarperCollins, 1985)

Dandy Edison for Lunch and Other Stories (Short stories: McIndoe, 1981)

The Boy, The Bridge, The River (Short stories: McIndoe, 1978)

Miracle: A Romance (Novel: McIndoe, 1976)



An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English (ed. Jenny Bornholdt, Gregory O’Brien & Mark Williams: Oxford UP, 1997)

The Oxford book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry (ed. Fleur Adcock: Oxford UP, 1982)



The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield (with Margaret Scott: Oxford UP, 1996)

The Oxford Book of New Zealand Short Stories (Oxford UP, 1992)

Katherine Mansfield: Selected Letters (Oxford UP, 1989)

Poems of Katherine Mansfield (Oxford UP, 1988)

Collected Poems: Ursula Bethell (Victoria UP, 1985)

An Anthology of New Zealand Writing Since 1945 (with MacDonald P. Jackson: Oxford UP, 1983)

Mansfield’s ‘The Aloe’ with ‘Prelude’ (Port Nicholson’s Press, 1982)

New Zealand Short Stories: Third Series (Oxford UP, 1975)

An Anthology of Twentieth-Century New Zealand Poetry (Oxford UP, 1970; revised 1976 & 1987)


'I felt energised by the freedom of 'making things up’' - Maxine Alterio

Read more