Abby Letteri completed an MA in Creative Writing at the IIML in 2004. The excerpt from her work in progress, a novel for children titled,The Voice of the Golden North, was written during the 2006 Children’s Writing Workshop with Eirlys Hunter. Abby lives with her family on Wellington’s rocky south coast.
Abby Stewart was a member of the MA Creative Writing class in 2006, where she worked on a collection of poetry, The Ultimate Shy Child. She moved to Wellington at the beginning of the year, for the class and the bright city lights. She stayed because she fell in love with Wellington. When she grows up she is going to be a gumshoe.
Andrew Johnston’s fourth collection of poems, Sol, will be published by Victoria University Press in March. He will spend 2007 as the Stout Research Fellow at Victoria University, working on a book about New Zealand poetry. ‘Made in Paris’ is about the Porte St-Martin neighbourhood he lives in.
Ashleigh Young is a writer and editor at Learning Media, specialising in ‘reluctant boy readers.’ Her first book of poems is creeping along, and she’s also working on the words for a picture book.
Bernadette Hall is a North Canterbury writer, normally resident at Amberley Beach. This year she has been the Writer in Residence at Victoria University, a blissful time, she says. In June, she was a guest at Ice Cold Words, an Antarctic literary festival held in Hobart. In September she took part in several events at the Christchurch Arts Festival.
Brigid Lowry writes poetry, fiction, and novels for teenagers. She has an MA in Creative Writing, and is currently working on a collection of YA stories, Tomorrow All Will Be Beautiful, and a non-fiction book, Juicy Writing: Inspiration and Techniques for Young Writers. Just off Celestial Street is the beginning of a longer work-in-progress
Cath Vidler edits Snorkel , an online literary magazine specialising in creative writing by Australians and New Zealanders. In 2001 she was a member of the editorial collective for the inaugural issue of Turbine. Cath’s poems have also appeared in Sport, and the online journals Nthposition, Otoliths, Trout, Cordite and Alba.
Charlotte Simmonds is the author of two plays and is currently working on a book of poetry. She was born in 1983.
Clare Moleta grew up in WA and has a Writing Diploma from RMIT in Melbourne. Since moving back to New Zealand in 2005 she has been a finalist in the Katherine Mansfield short story competition, won Travcom’s New Travel Writer of the Year award and had work published in Sport 34. Most recently she has been writing for the Herald on Sunday and AA Directions magazine
Cliff Fell is continuing to work on a second collection of poems, called Beauty of the Badlands, though he spends far too much time trying to brush up his rusty Latin.
Craig Cliff lives and works in Brisbane, where he claims it is too hot to write. To prove his theory that a cooler climate is the key to writing extended fiction (just look at those Russians), he took eight months leave in 2006 to do the MA at the IIML in Wellington and wrote a novel.
Curtis Sittenfeld, who will teach in Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters in January and February 07, is the author of the bestselling novels Prep and The Man of My Dreams, which are being translated into twenty-five languages. Prep also was chosen as one of the Ten Best Books of 2005 by The New York Times, nominated for the UK’s Orange Prize, and optioned by Paramount Pictures. Curtis’s writing has appeared in many American publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, Salon, and Glamour. A graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This essay was originally published in the New York Observer.
David Beach lives in Wellington. He is a strong believer in the use of personae i.e. has no idea, no idea at all officer, what might have happened to that missing critic. A book of his poems, Abandoned Novel, was published by Victoria University Press in 2006.
David Geary is a theatre, TV and fiction writer who lives in exile on Vancouver Island, Canada. He writes approximately 2.5 poems a year just to keep his hand in. The poem that appears here was written under the influence of an A & W root beer float, somewhere between the Canad Inns Stadium – home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL team, and the Aurora Borealis.
Dora Malech received her B.A. degree from Yale University and her M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has been the recipient of numerous honours, including a Clapp Fellowship from Yale, a Capote Fellowship and a Teaching-Writing Fellowship from the Writers’ Workshop, and a Glenn Schaeffer Award. She led the Iowa Workshop at the IIML last summer, and will join the IIML as a primary MA co-ordinator in 2007.
Elizabeth Smither has just completed a new collection of poems, The year of adverbs, which will be published by Auckland University Press in 2007. Her latest publication is a novel, Different kinds of pleasure (Penguin, 2006).
Emma Neale’s latest novel, Relative Strangers, was published by Random House in 2006. This year she appeared at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, and had a short residency at Varuna, Katoomba, as part of the New Zealand Book Council/International Writers’ exchange programme.
Gigi Fenster lives in Wellington. This story was inspired by her daughter’s mispronunciation of the word ‘matador.’
Gregory O’Brien’s recent publications include a book of poems, Afternoon of an evening train and the catalogue to an exhibition currently touring the country, Elizabeth Thomson – My Hi-fi Sci-fi. Forthcoming books include A Nest of Singing Birds – 100 Years of the School Journal and a book-length essay, News of the Swimmer Reaches Shore. The poem ‘Evening, Marlborough’ was commissioned by Summerhouse Winery, Blenheim, and appears on the label of their 2006 Chardonnay. ‘Letter to Louise Lawrence’ was read at the launching of The Penguin Book of New Zealand Letters, ed. Louise Lawrence, at Unity Books in 2003.
Iggy McGovern lives in Dublin, where he is Associate Professor of Physics at Trinity College; his poetry has appeared in Irish and international journals. His first collection, The King of Suburbia, was published by The Dedalus Press in 2005 and received both The Ireland Chair of Poetry Award and The Glen Dimplex New Writers’ Award for Poetry in 2006. He is currently visiting Australia as a Distinguished Fellow of The Institute for Advanced Study at La Trobe Univesity in Melbourne.
James McNaughton is getting married next month.
Jenny Bornholdt is current New Zealand Te Mata Poet Laureate. Her most recent collection is Summer (Victoria University Press, 2003). She has two further collections currently in preparation. In 2005 she co-edited the anthology, The Colour of Distance – New Zealand Writers in France, French Writers in New Zealand.
Johanna Aitchison lives in Wellington and loves song lyrics. ‘Here Comes Baby’ sprang from her obsession with using the conventions of pop music in poetry. She was the winner of the 2005 Story Inc. Poetry Prize and has been previously published in Sport, Turbine, Landfall and JAAM.
Jo Thorpe is a Wellington poet, dance writer and lecturer in Dance History at the New Zealand School of Dance. She graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University in 2001 and her first book of poetry Len & other poems was published by Steele Roberts in 2003.
Kate Mahony is a Wellington writer/freelance journalist and university tutor. She worked on a novel, A new life, during the MA in Creative Writing at the IIML in 2006.
Ken Bolton, a gay, light-hearted bastard, cuts a moodily romantic figure within the dun Australian literary scene, his name inevitably conjuring perhaps that best known image of him, bow-tie askew, grinning cheerfully, at the wheel of his 1958 Jaguar sports car, El Cid. It is this image that also carries in its train the stories of later suffering–the affairs, the women, the bad teeth–and, speaking of teeth, the beautiful poems wrenched from the teeth of despair and written on the wrist of happiness ‘where happiness happens to like its poems written best’ (in his inordinate phrase). (‘Inordinate’?–can you use inordinate like that?) For further information see Australian Literary Resources.
Kerry Hines lives in Wellington. Her work has appeared in a number of journals and in the joint collection Millionaire’s Shortbread (Otago University Press, 2003).
Marty Smith lives and teaches in Hawkes Bay. Her poems have appeared in Sport, Landfall, Turbine and The Page. She is looking forward to spending the summer writing poems for the Iowa Workshop.
Mary Cresswell lives on the Kapiti Coast, where hurricanes hardly happen. She is one of the four authors of Millionaire’s Shortbread (Otago University Press, 2003).
Michalia Arathimos is a writer who lives in Wellington. She was part of the 2006 MA class at the IIML. She has written a book of short stories and one novel. She has a BA in English Literature and is an English teacher when she’s not writing. She also writes poetry.
Michele Amas’ first book of poetry After the dance was published by Victoria University Press in 2006. The poems ‘Tea’ and ‘Matinee’ were written on particularly grim Wellington days. To cheer herself up she is currently writing a series of poems based on the exploits of Agent Orange on his tour of duty in Vietnam. You had to have been in Wellington for the winter of 06 to understand.
Rachael Schmidt lives in Otaki and has just completed her MA in Creative Writing at the IIML. She is also a, sometimes reluctant, Crown lawyer in Wellington. Her contribution is an extract from the folio she submitted for her MA, a novel called The Way Light Falls.
Rachel Bush lives in Nelson. Her first two books of poetry, The Hungry Woman and The Unfortunate Singer, are published by Victoria University Press. In late 2004 she was Poet in Residence at Wellington Hospital. Her new book, All Patients Report Here, to be published by Wai-te-ata Press in December 2006, draws on this experience, as does 'Tyler, Lily and Mozart'.
Rebecca Lancashire has been an arts feature writer for the Age newspaper in Melbourne for more than ten years. She returned to New Zealand in 2005 with her family and completed two undergraduate courses at the IIML, with Kate de Goldi and William Brandt. She enjoyed it so much she enrolled in the MA course in 2006. Now, utterly ruined for honest toil, she’s trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her life.
Robert Sullivan, a Honolulu-based poet, teaches creative writing and Maori literature in English at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He is of Nga Puhi, Kai Tahu, Ngati Raukawa and Galway Irish descent. His latest book is Voice Carried My Family (AUP 2005).
Sarah Barnett is a heritage professional and poet who lives in Wellington. Her poems have appeared in The Press, Catalyst, Takahe and on the e-zine Blackmail Press. During 2006 she completed the MA in Creative Writing at the IIML.
Stephanie De Montalk is the author of the memoir/biography, Unquiet World: the Life of Count Geoffrey Potocki de Montalk (2001), three collections of poetry, and a novel, The Fountain of Tears (2006). She was the 2005 Victoria University Writer in Residence.
'Way Station' is part of an eastern cycle, prompted by Bill Manhire. Bill said, on hearing I'd experienced an otolithic crisis of Tumarkin (disturbance in the semi-circular canals of the inner ear), that the occurrence sounded like a medieval battle to the east of the Balkans, and surely needed a poem.
Sue Orr lives in Wellington and completed the MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University in 2006. She produced a collection of short stories, Etiquette for a Dinner Party and Other Stories. She is writing a novel in 2007.
Sue Wootton lives in Dunedin. Her year got off to a great start when she won both the poetry and short story categories of the Aoraki Literary Festival competition. The warm glow produced by this sustained her through a long winter. Her first collection of poetry, Hourglass, was published by Steele Roberts in 2005.
Susan Pearce is the convenor of the Short Fiction Workshop at the IIML. She recently completed Acts of Love, the novel from which this extract is taken. It is set in present-day New Zealand, and in the St. Paul, Minneapolis mansion of People Under God’s Command, during the early 1960s. Susan’s short fiction has previously been published in Turbine, Sport, and Metro.
Vana Manasiadis was a member of the 2005 MA class at the IIML. She spent the winter island-hopping.
Zach Savich’s poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Mid-American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Seneca Review, and other magazines. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has recently taught at the University of Iowa, the University of Washington’s Creative Writing Seminar in Rome, and in American-Indian communities. This summer, his poetry class at Victoria University will be investigating divination, foolishness, memory, epistles, and the imagination.