New Zealand’s oldest academic publisher, Otago University Press publishes a wide range of non-fiction books on New Zealand and the Pacific, giving special emphasis to history, natural history, Māori and Pacific, biography/memoir, poetry, literature and the arts. Otago University Press also publishes Landfall, New Zealand's longest-running and leading journal of new art and writing. Otago publishes 20–25 new titles a year and has a vibrant backlist of about 150 titles.
We focus on the following publishing categories:
The Lives of Colonial Objects (eds Annabel Cooper, Lachy Paterson, Angela Wanhalla): 50 contributors show that 'even seemingly ordinary objects can offer exceptional insights’. 'Sumptuous production … extraordinary stories … wonderful example of public history … extraordinary scope … wonderfully poignant'
– Paul Diamond, Nine to Noon, Radio NZ, 9 July 2015
Kitchens: The New Zealand kitchen in the 20th century (Helen Leach): 'New Zealanders are very fortunate to have Helen Leach as guide, guardian and safe-keeper of their gastronomic past … Kitchens is not only the history of kitchens in the twentieth century, decade by decade, but also a history of meals and cooking, of eating and diet and food supply, and of domestic life, all informed by the changing social and economic contexts of an eventful hundred years …'
– Petits Propos Culinaires 102, Feb. 2015
Pēwhairangi: Bay of Islands missions and Māori 1814 to 1845 (Angela Middleton) ‘… reveals much that is new to us, because Angela Middleton is primarily an archaeologist rather than an historian … [it’s] hard to resist a book that is so well documented and so thoroughly illustrated.'
– Reid’s Reader, Nov. 2014
Niue 1774–1974: 200 years of contact and change (Margaret Pointer): 'Pointer presents a complex, often neglected story with clarity and understanding. Given our close links with the island, it’s a book New Zealanders should read.'
– NZ Listener, 18 July 2015
Described as a 'modern masterpiece', The Natural History of Southern New Zealand is one of a number of stunning natural history titles produced by Otago, which also includes the award-winning 'Wild' series from authors Neville Peat and Brian Patrick. A fully revised edition of Wild Dunedin, winner of the Natural History section of the 1996 Montana Book Awards, was published in May 2014.
Dumont D’Urville: Explorer & polymath (Edward Duyker): 'Duyker brings d’Urville to life (surely the key aim of any biography), and the book is a major scholarly achievement.'
– NZ Books, Autumn 2015
What Lies Beneath (Elspeth Sandys): '… the book, written with lean elegance and taut energy, engages the reader and speaks eloquently about the innate human desire to belong and possess identity. Highly recommended.'
– NZ Listener, 6 Dec. 2014
OUP proudly publishes poetry. Established writers such as Charles Brasch, Cilla McQueen, Owen Marshall, David Eggleton and Iain Lonie form part of a growing list appearing under the Otago imprint. Newer poets at Otago include Emma Neale, Kay McKenzie Cooke, Siobhan Harvey and Richard Reeve.
Literature and Arts
The Urewera Notebook by Katherine Mansfield (edited by Anna Plumridge): ‘The quality is exemplary … The editing is impressive and the editor’s approach imaginative as well as scholarly.'
– Vincent O’Sullivan
Grace Joel: An impressionist portrait (Joel Schiff): 'It has been carefully researched, put together, and argued … to create a fascinating picture of one of New Zealand’s most enigmatic and private painters.’
— Joanne Drayton, Art NZ, March 2015
Landfall, published twice a year, offers a mix of vital new work by this country's best writers and artists. Featuring new fiction and poetry, biographical and critical essays and cultural commentary, it is New Zealand's longest-running journal of arts and letters and has retained its preeminence for almost 70 years. Edited by David Eggleton.