01 Oct 2019
Creative New Zealand is saddened at the passing of acclaimed New Zealand children’s author Jack Lasenby.
Throughout his writing life, he received many honours for his novels and short stories for children and young adults, including the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Fiction in 2014.
Born in 1931 in Waharoa in the Waikato, Jack worked as a postman, as a gardener, a labourer and a fisherman. He was a teacher, editor of the School Journal, and an English lecturer at Wellington Teacher's College until he left to write for children in 1987.
Margaret Mahy called him “perhaps the most innately New Zealand writer of all New Zealand writers for children.”
His award-winning books included The Lake, The Conjuror, The Waterfall, The Battle of Pook Island, Because We Were the Travellers, Old Drumble and Calling the Gods.
Jack received the Writer's Fellowship at the Victoria University of Wellington, the Writer in Residence at the Dunedin College of Education and the Sargeson Fellowship in Auckland. He received the prestigious Margaret Mahy Medal in 2003 and the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book in 2012 for his first collection of stories, Uncle Trev. The Jack Lasenby Award was established by the Wellington Book Association in 2002.