Katherine Palmer Gordon
The author of six non-fiction books and a contributor to several anthologies, Katherine Palmer Gordon has been writing true stories for grown-ups and for publications in both New Zealand and Canada since 1995.
Born in England in 1963, her much-travelled family eventually settled in New Zealand. She maintains a home on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, but is back in Aotearoa for the time being.
Katherine writes about the contemporary issues that face society, both serious and light-hearted. She has covered some of the most beautiful regions of the planet; the people who live around us and what they do; and environmental, cultural, and business-related issues. Her first five books were published under the name Katherine Gordon. With the publication of her sixth book, she re-introduced her original name, Palmer, to her readers.
With more than twenty years experience working with iwi on treaty settlements and First Nations on land claims and inter-governmental relations, Katherine also writes about the complex and human side of treaty negotiations, reconciliation, and the path to justice for First Nations.
Her first book, A Curious Life, is a biography of a self-styled princess who ended her years in Victoria, BC. Peggy Abkhazi (who married an Abkhazian prince) also had strong connections to New Zealand, and visited the country several times during her life. Her goddaughter Phillippa is a Kiwi.
Katherine's most recent book We Are Born With the Songs Inside Us (Harbour, September 2013) profiles a number of young First Nations men and women talking about their lives in 21st century BC and the importance of cultural connection to the successful path they are following (with a Foreword by Shawn A-in-Chut Atleo, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations). Tewanee Joseph, whose father is Maori and mother was Squamish, is also featured in the book.
In April 2016, In This Together: True Stories of Reconciliation (Brindle & Glass, Danielle Metcalfe-Chenaille, Ed.) was published, featuring "Mother Tongues", an essay by Katherine about the importance of connection to first languages. She is currently working on a commissioned corporate history and a new book about connection to place.
Katherine is also one of the NZSA's appointees to the Board of Collective Licensing NZ. She has a wealth of experience in professional governance, and has been on the Board of Access Copyright (the Canadian equivalent of CLNZ) and the National Council and Executive of The Writers' Union of Canada. She continues to chair the Writers' Union Grievance Committee.