Ian Wedde was born in Blenheim and now lives in Auckland. He is the Poet Laureate for New Zealand 2011-13. His 14th poetry collection, Good Business, was published by Auckland University Press in 2009.
After graduating from Auckland University, Ian Wedde lived for a time in Jordan and in England, before returning to New Zealand as Burns Fellow at the University of Otago. Since the late 1960s, when he was one of the writers who found a new freedom for New Zealand poetry with the aid of American models, he has published many poetry collections, as well as six novels. He also co-edited The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse (1985).
A significant essayist and art critic, he worked for some time at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (in Wellington) as head of art and visual culture, and humanities. Negotiating between many kinds of language, and putting aside poetry for a while, Wedde was brought back to it by re-reading Horace, and celebrated this return with The Commonplace Odes (AUP, 2001): 'I love the commonplace. I love the ordinary things. I don't mind irony if it's smart and not self-protecting… I want the connection between that love and the ability to engage sophisticated poetry again without self-deprecation…' (Making ends meet – essays & talks 1992-2004).