Amy Brown has recently completed a BA in English Literature and Philosophy, which included poetry and short-fiction workshops offered by the IIML. She is currently travelling around South East Asia, gathering life experience, after spending a few months teaching English in Vietnam.
Anne Kennedy has published five books of fiction and poetry, including A Boy and His Uncle (Picador) and Musica Ficta (University of Queensland Press). She has won several awards, the most recent the Montana New Zealand Poetry Award for 2003. Her newest book is the narrative sequence The Time of the Giants (Auckland University Press). A New Zealander by birth, she currently lives in Honolulu.
Ashleigh Young lives in Wellington and works as a bookseller and occasional freelance writer. Her poems have appeared in Sport, Best New Zealand Poems, and the anthology Great Sporting Moments. She is currently shambling her way through a small, first collection of poems.
Ben Sparks lives and works in Wellington.
Elizabeth Smither’s most recent collections of poetry are Red Shoes (Te Mata Poet Laureate 3) and A Question of Gravity; Selected Poems (Arc Publications, 2004). Her new novel, Different Kinds of Pleasure, will be published by Penguin in May 2006.
Gregory O'Brien's recent projects include a collection of poems, Afternoon of an Evening Train, a forthcoming range of fashion garments produced by Auckland designer Doris de Pont (www.dorisdepont.com), and a variety of curatorial jobs at City Gallery Wellington (his illustrated essay on Janet Frame can be found on the Gallery's website at http://www.city-gallery.org.nz/mainsite/lecture-by-gregory-o-brien.html). He is presently working on exhibition projects with sculptor Elizabeth Thomson and photographer Laurence Aberhart. His preface for the Land of Seas anthology was first published in the American literary journal Fulcrum.
Helen Heath was born to the sound of dirt bikes on the Hutt Valley fire-breaks. She has studied undergraduate writing at the IIML. She recently featured in Kissed – an exhibition at Pataka Museum of original artworks interpreting and incorporating poetry ( http://kissed.juicy.co.nz/). Helen lives and works in Paekakariki.
James McNaughton is a professor at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea. He has published poems in Landfall, the Listener, Glottis, Takahe, Poetry NZ, Sport and JAAM. He’s working on his second book of poems, tentatively titled An Honest-to-God Surge of Something Like Joy.
Janis Freegard lives in Wellington with an historian called Peter and a cat called Spike. She has attended some of the IIML workshops such as this year’s Radical Revision workshop. Her writing has appeared in a range of journals and anthologies, including Turbine 02. In 2001, she won the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award.
Jan Lauwereyns (1969) was born and raised in Antwerp, Belgium. Trained as a neuroscientist, he has conducted research on the voluntary control of visual perception at top institutes in Belgium, Japan and U.S.A. In 2003 he moved to Wellington, where he teaches biological psychology at Victoria University. To date he has published four books of poetry, one novel and one book of essays in his native language, Dutch. In 2005 he decided to broaden his literary horizons, translating the works of several New Zealand poets into Dutch, and writing new work of his own in English as well as Dutch. He is currently working on a ‘Manifesto for Poetry with Forked Tongue’, to argue for the hidden riches of foreign accents.
Jenny Bornholdt is the current Te Mata Estate New Zealand Poet Laureate. She has published seven books of poems, the most recent of which is Summer.
Julie Hill is a journalist for the TV arts shows Frontseat and a music producer for National Radio. She also enjoys playing records. Her play Stories Told To Me By Girls is touring to a theatre near you this summer.
Lynn Davidson is a Wellington writer. Her books include Mary Shelley’s Window (Pemmican, 1999) and the novel Ghost Net (Otago University Press, 2003). A new poetry collection, Tender, is due out soon.
Mark Williams teaches English at Canterbury University. His most recent publication is Maoriland: New Zealand Literature 1872-1914, which he co-authored with Jane Stafford.
Mary McCallum has just completed a creative writing MA at Victoria, 25 years after doing the undergraduate writing course with Bill Manhire. In between, she worked as a journalist and raised three children. Mary has been published once in Landfall but little else besides and she won the 2003 Lilian Ida Smith Award. She lives in Eastbourne with her family, writing her second novel and doing book reviews for National Radio.
Melissa Firth was born in Auckland in 1972. She is an information architect and freelance writer based in Sydney.
Michele Amas is an actor and director who is also winner of the 2005 Adam Foundation Prize, which goes to the top folio of work by an MA (Page) student at the IIML each year. She apologises to anyone who unwittingly finds themselves in her journal.
Over the past couple of years, Natasha Leitch has lived and worked in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, America and Korea, but in 2005 she has stayed here in Wellington, done the MA in Creative Writing and tried to write a novel. Her story, ‘Charitable Relations’, was the result of a class challenge to write a story that contained a tiny Jesus, a mysterious number, a photograph from which something had been excised, someone claiming to be a close friend of Witi Ihimaera and the words ‘the needle that clothes so many people stays naked itself’.
Nick Twemlow was a Fulbright Fellow in residence at the IIML for 2005. While in New Zealand, he completed a manuscript of poems, and researched his Maori heritage and the life and writing of his great-aunt, novelist Joyce West. He lives in Chicago, in the United States, where he works as a freelance writer and co-edits The Canary (www.thecanary.org), a poetry annual.
Penny Walker was once an ambassador’s wife and thought she was so interesting she could write about herself for her 2005 MA in Creative Writing.
Robyn Schiff’s first book of poems, Worth, was published in 2002 as part of the Kuhl House Poets Series, University of Iowa Press. During her summer break from her visiting professorship at Northwestern University in the U.S., she joined her husband, Nick Twemlow, in New Zealand. She is now at work on a long poem about a huia cloning scheme.
Siân Daly was a member of the Writing for the Page stream of the 2005 MA class in Creative Writing. Since completing the course, she has gone back to work as a film censor and is continuing work on her novel, The Ice Yacht.
Stefanie Lash has just completed her MA at the IIML, where she put together a collection of poems called President Brie. Her poetry has previously appeared in Takahe, Turbine and Poetry NZ. Just for the record, she thinks Tom Cruise is gross.
Stephanie de Montalk has been the 2005 Victoria University Writer in Residence. Her most recent collection of poetry, Cover Stories, was published this year and her essay ‘Pain’ appeared in Sport 33. Her novel The Fountain of Bakhchisaray will be published next year.
Susannah Poole lives in Wellington, and has just completed the MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University. She is now looking for a job that she will enjoy and that will enable her to have winter breaks somewhere like Tonga.
Wes Lee lives on the Kapiti Coast in a little bolt-hole by the sea. She directed her black comedy Woman with a Weapon at the Maidment Theatre in Auckland. Her writing has appeared in various online and print publications: Stamp, Trout, PopMatters, Snorkel, Pleasures and Dangers: Artists of the 90’s. In 2002, she was an award winner in the New Zealand Society of Authors National Short Story Award. She has work forthcoming in The Ugly Tree, Mannequin Envy, Thieves Jargon, Misanthropists Anonymous and BuzzWords.