Born in Matamata in 1961, Gregory O'Brien is a poet, artist and writer of non-fiction. As well as exhibiting his work widely and illustrating numerous books, he has authored or contributed to books on Ralph Hotere, John Pule and architect John Scott, amongst many others. He also co-authored Parihaka: The art of Passive Resistance (VUP, 2000) and Kermadec: Nine Artists Explore the South Pacific (Pew, 2011). O'Brien is the author of two introductions to art for the young and curious: Welcome to the South Seas (AUP, 2004) and Back and Beyond (AUP, 2008), which both won the Non-fiction Prize at the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. His most recent books include A Micronaut in the Wide World: The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy (AUP, 2011), Beauties of the Octagonal Pool (AUP, 2012), Whale Years (AUP, 2015) and See What I Can See: New Zealand Photography for the Young and Curious (AUP, 2015). He has received many awards for his books and, in 2013, was given the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement (Non-fiction) and an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award. He was granted an MNZM award in 2014 and, in 2017, an Honorary Doctorate from Victoria University of Wellington.