Dunedin has recently been named the creative city of literature by the prestigious UNESCO, the only city in New Zealand to hold the title. Dunedin has been long known in New Zealand as a city of education, Scottish History and heritage and even has the highest number of churches per capita out of any other city in the world. Dunedin has joined Melbourne, Edinburgh, Dublin, Iowa City, Reykjavik, Norwich and Krakow.
Dunedin is one of the most important settler cities and had large numbers of Scottish migrants settling in the city in the 1840’s. It was the Scottish who bought the literary genius of Robbie Burns to New Zealand, a fact which is still widely celebrated today and marked by a statue of Burns in the Octagon in the middle of the city. Dunedin has also been home to a number of New Zealand’s most famous writers including Charles Brasch, Thomas Bracken and Janet Frame.
To add to its creative flair, Dunedin is home to the Writers Walk which celebrates writers past and present, had one of the top publishing businesses in the world and had New Zealand first newspaper, The Otago Daily Times which is still published today.
If you are interested in the history of writing and print culture in New Zealand then the Centre of the Book is the place for you to discover both the past and the present. A strong contributing factor to Dunedin being offered the title was due to it pioneering and dedicating library services to children and furthering children’s reading ability.
Dunedin is also home to the southernmost professional theatre company in the world and New Zealand’s oldest university which help to diversify the city and make it the literary capital of New Zealand.
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