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, Vincent O'Sullivan, Catherine Chidgey and Murray Edmond. The 2018 lecture was presented by poet Kate Camp.

2019 Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture and Sargeson Prize

Date Wednesday 9 October 2019
Time 5pm - 7:30pm
Where Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts
Presenter Dylan Horrocks
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

The Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture is a public occasion celebrating the life and literary legacy of Frank Sargeson, Hamilton’s most famous “literary son”, who changed the face of New Zealand literature with his short stories and novels, and with his support of other writers. 2019 sees Dylan Horrocks as our guest speaker.

Black River: The Literature of New Zealand Comics

The history of New Zealand comics can be seen as a parallel history of New Zealand literature. From popular strips that helped build our sense of national identity to obscure cartoonists drawing idiosyncratic masterpieces in isolation, the local comics landscape offers some surprising insights into New Zealand's cultural history.

Dylan Horrocks is a cartoonist and writer based in Wellington. He is the author of the graphic novels Hicksville and Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen and the short comics collection Incomplete Works. His other work includes political cartoons, the New Zealand Listener strip 'Milo's Week', and the comic book series Pickle and Atlas. He has also written comics for DC and Vertigo, including Hunter: the Age of Magic and Batgirl.

Sargeson Prize

This year we are combining the annual lecture with announcing the winners of the inaugural Sargeson Prize. The Sargeson Prize is New Zealand's richest short story prize, sponsored by the University of Waikato. The Prize was conceived by writer Catherine Chidgey, who also lectures in Writing Studies at the University.


Light refreshments are served at 5.00pm. Lecture begins at 5.45pm