Annual Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture

The Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture, hosted jointly by the University of Waikato and the Friends of Hamilton Public Library, commemorates the personal and literary legacy of one of New Zealand's most important writers. Frank Sargeson was born in Hamilton in 1903, and devoted his life to literature, and to mentoring other writers. Best known for his short stories, Sargeson was also a playwright and a novelist, and his three-volume memoir is a classic of New Zealand literary non-fiction.

Speakers to date have included Christine Cole Catley, Kevin Ireland, Lawrence Jones, Michael King, Graeme Lay, Owen Marshall, John Newton, Elizabeth Aitken Rose, Ian Wedde, Peter Wells, John Newston and Vincent O'Sullivan, Catherine Chidgey and Murray Edmond. The 2016 lecture will be presented by the novelist, essayist and memoirist, Elizabeth Knox.

2016 Lecture

Seeing Us Safely Nowhere
Elizabeth Knox

Fiction as blender and centrifuge, as the weather inside the house, as maelstrom and wormhole. What we hope it can do to and for us, and where it can take us. In this lecture, the novelist, essayist, and memoirist Elizabeth Knox will talk about the freedoms and strictures of fiction and non-fiction. She’ll explore the notions of subject-matter, audience, and authenticity – then she’ll kick them around the room and talk about getting away with writing crazy stuff, and why anyone would want to.

Elizabeth is the author of twelve novels and three novellas. Her book The Vintner’s Luck won the Deutz Medal for Fiction in the 1999 Montana New Zealand Book Awards, and the Tasmania Pacific Region Prize. Elizabeth’s book for young adults, Dreamhunter, won the 2006 Esther Glen Medal. Dreamhunter’s sequel, Dreamquake (2007), was a Michael L Printz Honor book for 2008 and, in the same year, was named an ALA, a CCBC, Booklist, and a New York Library best book. A collection of essays, The Love School, won the biography and memoir section of the New Zealand Post book awards in 2009. Her third young adult title, Mortal Fire, won the YA section of the New Zealand Post Children’s book award and was a finalist in the LA Times Book Awards. Her horror/science fiction, Wake, was published in New Zealand in 2013 and in the UK in 2015. Elizabeth was the recipient of the 2014 Michael King Fellowship.

Wednesday 12 October 2016
Lecture begins 5.30pm. Light refreshments to follow, from 6.30pm
S.1.04, S Block, University of Waikato

2016 Lecture poster

Past Lectures

2015: Who Would a Would-Be Be: Literary Encounters
Murray Edmond

2014: Knowing Your Place
Catherine Chidgey

2013: The beach at Stresa, the 'Wheatsheaf' in Soho
Professor Vincent O'Sullivan

2012: "The Bad Difficult Years": Sargerson's Post-War Reconstruction
John Newton

2011: THE GRASS-CATCHER: an essay about home
Ian Wedde

2010: The True Reader
Owen Marshall

2009: Do Frank's Ashes Matter? The Significance of New Zealand's Literary House Museums
Elizabeth Aitken Rose