Emeritus Professor Albert Wendt is a novelist, poet, short story writer, playwright and painter.
Since the 1970s he has been an influential figure in the development of New Zealand and Pacific literature and is regarded internationally as one of the world’s leading indigenous novelists and academics.
Emeritus Professor Wendt was Professor of New Zealand and Pacific Literature at the University of Auckland from 1988 to 2006, and held the Citizen’s Chair at the University of Hawaii from 2004 to 2008. At the University of Auckland he was Chair of the Centre for Pacific Studies Advisory Committee and was involved in the building of the Fale Pasefika Complex. He is currently Emeritus Professor of English at the University.
From 1977 to 1982 he was Director of the University of the South Pacific Centre in Samoa, and was Professor of Pacific Literature from 1980 to 1987. He was a trustee of the Pacific Youth Leadership Trust for 10 years. He was appointed to the Creative New Zealand Arts Board and was Deputy Chairman of New Zealand on Air.
He has published seven novels, four collections of short stories, and five collections of poetry. In 2012 he published two new collections of short stories and poetry and was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Fiction. He has held art exhibitions in New Zealand and Hawaii.
Emeritus Professor Wendt’s works have won numerous awards, been adapted to film, and translated into several languages, and are read and taught throughout the world.
Honours and awards
Alumni Merita Award, New Plymouth Boys’ High School, 2013
Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Fiction, 2012
Commonwealth Writer’s Asia Pacific Region Prize for ‘The Adventures of Vela’, 2010
Montana Book Award for ‘Whetu Moana’, 2004
Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture, 2004
Senior Pacific Arts Award, 2003
Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature, NY2001
Samoa Order of Merit for services to education and literature, 1994
Commonwealth Writer’s Asia Pacific Region Prize for ‘Ola’, 1992
Wattie Book of the Year for ‘Leaves of the Banyan’, 1980