Associate Professor Paula Jane Kiri Morris

BA (Auckland), MA (Victoria), MFA (Iowa), D. Phil (York)

Profile image
Associate Professor


Paula Morris MNZM (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Manuhiri, Ngāti Whatua) is a novelist, essayist and short story writer. She was the 2018 Mansfield Menton Fellow, in residence in France for the first half of 2019.

Her fourth novel, Rangatira (Penguin, 2011), won the fiction categories at the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards and Ngā Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards. Paula’s short stories have been widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies. Radio versions of stories and two of her novels have been broadcast in both New Zealand and the US. Her first short story collection, Forbidden Cities (2008), was a regional finalist in the 2009 Commonwealth Prize. Her story 'False River' was shortlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award (UK), and appeared in the story and essay collection False River published by Penguin in November 2017.

Paula's nonfiction includes the long-form essays On Coming Home (BWB 2015) and Shining Land: Looking for Robin Hyde (Massey University Press 2020), a collaboration with photographer Haru Sameshima, longlisted for the 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Paula is the editor of The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories (2008) and two anthologies: Ko Aotearoa Tātou (Otago University Press, 2020), co-edited with Michelle Elvy and James Norcliffe; and A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices NZ (Auckland University Press, forthcoming 2021), co-edited with Alison Wong. 

She is a mentor in the Te Papa Tupu Māori writing incubator and the NZSA mentor programme, and has served as a judge in the Pikihuia Māori Literature Awards and the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition. In 2018 she was the Pacific Region judge for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and in 2020 she served as a judge in the ARA Historical Novel Prize in Australia.

A graduate of the University of Auckland, Paula holds degrees from two creative writing programmes – an MA from Victoria University in Wellington, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop – as well as a D.Phil from the University of York. In addition to the Mansfield Menton Fellowship, she has been awarded numerous residencies and fellowships, including stays at Bellagio (the Rockefeller Foundation) in Italy; Passa Porta in Brussels; the International Writers' and Translators House in Ventspils, Latvia; and Brecht's House in Denmark. She has appeared at festivals in Europe, South Africa, India, China, North America, Australia, the UK , Australia and New Zealand.

Paula has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Tulane University in New Orleans, the University of Stirling and the University of Sheffield, as well as at festivals, schools, museums, conferences and writing centres around the world. She is the founder of the Academy of New Zealand Literature ( and the University of Auckland's online literary journal The Three Lamps (, and sits on the boards of the Mātātuhi Foundation, the Māori Literature Trust, the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, and the Coalition for Books.

Research | Current

  • Creative writing

Teaching | Current

CREWRIT 797AB Master of Creative Writing

ENGLISH 344 Writing Creative Prose

ENGLISH 252 Introduction to Creative Writing

Postgraduate supervision

PhD with Creative Practice: Tom Romeo, begun 2017

PhD with Creative Practice: Rachel O'Connor, begun 2019

PhD with Creative Practice: Ruby Porter, begun 2019


MNZM 2019


Postgraduate adviser and Director, Master of Creative Writing

Areas of expertise

Creative writing

Contemporary American literature

Short fiction

Māori literature

Contemporary New Zealand literature

Committees/Professional groups/Services

New Zealand Book Awards Trust

Māori Literature Trust

Mātātuhi Foundation

Coalition for Books

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Morris, P. (2020). The “leftovers of empire”: Commonwealth writers and the Booker Prize. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 56 (2), 261-270. 10.1080/17449855.2020.1728914
  • Elvy, M., Morris, P., & Norcliffe, J. (Eds.) (2020). Ko Aoteroa Tātou / We Are New Zealand: An Anthology. Otago University Press. Pages: 280.
  • Morris, P., & Sameshima, H. (2020). Shining Land: Looking for Robin Hyde. Massey University Press. Pages: 96.
  • Morris, P. (2019). The complicated legacy of American author and pioneer Laura Ingalls Wilder. The New Zealand Listener (1903). Related URL.
  • Morris, P. (2019). Papakāinga of Hauturu. In L. Wade, D. Veitch (Eds.) Hauturu: The history, flora and fauna of Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island (pp. 22-31). Massey University Press.
  • Morris, P. J. (2017). Literature in a Decile One School. Related URL.
  • Morris, P. J. (2017). Making noise for Māori writers. Related URL.
  • Morris, P. (2017). Play school:Teaching creative writing. In O'Connor P, C. Rozas Gomez (Eds.) Playing with possibilities (pp. 9-15). Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Related URL.


Contact details

Alternative contact

Primary office location

Level 6, Room 623
New Zealand

Social links

Web links