Roger Steele is a publishing phenomenon in Aotearoa New Zealand.
He has been a publisher of artists, activists, poets, the under-represented and dispossessed for over 25 years – from Hone Tūwhare to Glenn Colquhoun, Jacquie Sturm to Dominic Hoey, and Lloyd Geering.
He was deservedly appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2021 for services to the publishing industry and the arts.
His first published book was the poems of Jacquie Sturm, a Māori writer whose work was being ignored by the publishing world, and Roger plans to end his publishing career – 600 books later – with a 2022 collection of Sturm’s work, curated with her family and published by his company Steele Roberts Aotearoa.
A speaker of te reo, Roger is a vivid and often hilarious storyteller. He will share his varied life and recollections of the books he has worked on and the authors he has known with Mary McCallum, publisher at Mākaro Press, 2021 Publisher of the Year.