Alison Wong’s collection of poetry, Cup (Steele Roberts), was shortlisted for the Jessie McKay NZSA Best First Book for Poetry at the 2007 Montana Book Awards. One of her poems was selected for Best NZ Poems 2006. She was the 2002 Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University and lives in Titahi Bay where she is completing a novel.
Amy Brown is a Wellington poet, editor and book reviewer. She was inspired to write ‘Brownian Motion’ after reading As Far As We Know, by Paul Callaghan and Kim Hill.
Andrew Johnston’s fourth collection of poems, Sol, was published by Victoria University Press in March 2007. He spent 2007 as the Stout Research Fellow at Victoria University, working on a book about New Zealand poetry. ‘Foxtrot’ is about being a New Zealander in Paris, where he normally lives. ‘Bravo’ was first published in BookNotes, the magazine of the New Zealand Book Council, to whom thanks are due.
Anna Jackson lives in Island Bay and lectures in the English programme at Victoria University. She has published four collections of poetry with Auckland University Press, most recently The Gas Leak (2006).
‘Red Riding Hood,’ ‘Second Puppet’ and ‘Castle Stitch’ are experiments in a new genre called the Crochet Poem. Anna has been learning to crochet this year and says it is a difficult process in yarn but turns out, for her, to be easier in words and also in stones (she crocheted a garden out of stones, using the ‘shell stitch,’ which is looking good though nothing has yet come up). As a poetry genre, crocheting involves looping together fairy tale motifs or images into a new arrangement of lines. The Crochet Poem is typically slight and full of holes. To follow Anna’s progress (and the progress of the other crocheters on the team) in other crocheting genres, see their website http://looptroop.blogspot.com/
Anne Kennedy’s most recent book is the narrative poem, The Time of the Giants (AUP). She lives in Honolulu and teaches writing at the University of Hawai’i.
Asha Scott-Morris was a student in the 2007 MA class at the IIML. The extract from her novel is built upon a story that was told to her when she was a child.
Ashleigh Young is a writer and editor who lives in Wellington. She is a contributor to the New Zealand Book Council quarterly Booknotes and a poet in fits and starts. ‘Robert Smith Month’ was written as an ode to the frontman of the band The Cure. ‘Five O’clock Mum’ was written after falling over in the street.
Charlotte Simmonds is a Wellington-based playwright. Her book The World’s Fastest Flower is due for publication by Victoria University Press in March 2008.
Since she returned to New Zealand, Clare Moleta has had stories published in Turbine and Sport and won several prizes for her travel writing. This year she’s been working on something longer.
Since appearing in Turbine 06, Craig Cliff won the novice section of the Katherine Mansfield Short Story competition, appeared in the 2007 edition of JAAM, travelled through Africa and Europe, and now resides semi-permanently in Edinburgh. In 2008 he aims to write one million words. You can follow his progress at http://yearofamillionwords.blogspot.com/
David Geary is a big Joni Mitchell fan. His favourite album is Blue. His favourite Joni song is Furry Sings the Blues. Joni’s cover art for the gatefold sleeve of The Hissing of Summer Lawns is some of the best ever. However, David Crosby described Joni as ‘about as humble as Mussolini’. She has described contemporary music as ‘appallingly sick, with boring chord movements and bad acting’. And slagged off Sting, Alanis Morrisette and Sheryl Crow. David Geary doesn’t think this is helping.
David will be the writer in residence at Victoria University for 2008. He thinks Herbie Hancock’s new album of Joni covers, River — The Joni Letters, could become the soundtrack of the year. Herbie is a Nichiren Buddhist. David has flirted with this path and occasionally chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to quiet his monkey brain.
Dora Malech convened one of the MA Writing for the Page workshops at the IIML this past year. She has found New Zealand to be an incredibly inspiring place in which to live and to write. She will miss the people she has had the honour to know and work with here — and she will miss the place itself — very much.
Eleanor Catton was enrolled in Damien Wilkins’ 2007 MA class at the IIML, where she worked on a novel exploring themes of performance and performativity. In 2007 she won the Sunday Star-Times short-story competition for her entry Necropolis. She lives in Wellington with her partner, sculptor Johnny Fraser-Allen, with whom she is currently working on a mixed-media illustrated novel for children.
The Outing began life as a workshop exercise, and was later adapted and used as a scene in Eleanor’s novel The Rehearsal, for which she received the Adam Prize in Creative Writing (awarded annually to an outstanding student in the IIML’s MA programme) on the day Turbine 07 was launched.
Elizabeth Smither’s latest collections of poetry are The Year of Adverbs (AUP, 2007) and Horse Playing the Accordion (ahadada books, 2007). A new collection of stories, The Girl Who Proposed, will be published by Cape Catley in 2008.
The last of her Australian aunts, from a family of twelve, died early this year. She was the youngest, the one they regarded affectionately, since she was always following them about, as ‘the nuisance’. In this poem, Elizabeth was imagining her death, her siblings who had gone before, and her going on her own.
Emily Dobson now finds herself a beekeeper’s wife high in the hills of rural Hawkes Bay. She has published one book of poems, a box of bees (VUP, 2005).
Erin Scudder is completing an MA in Literature at Victoria University. Her short fiction has appeared in Damki magazine (Osaka, Japan), she has published essays on the work of NZ artists Fitts & Holderness and Cat Simpson, and she is writing her first book of poetry.
‘Fingered Lace’ and ‘Little Red Herring’ are forays into the (newly established) genre of crochet poetry. Crochet poems are slight, fairytalish, and full of escape routes. They might also involve time slips, loopholes, and stitches that haven’t quite been invented yet.
Hinemoana Baker (www.hinemoana.co.nz) is a writer, producer and musician living on Wellington’s Kapiti Coast. Her work’s been published in literary journals at home and abroad, the most recent being the Southwest Minnesota State University’s Yellow Medicine Review. Her first collection of poetry, mātuhi | needle, (Victoria University Press/Perceval Press) was published in 2004 and launched alongside her first full-length album, puāwai.
This poem was inspired by being ‘one of the Blessed Handmaidens’ at her close friend’s homebirth. Hinemoana was deeply affected by the sounds her friend made during the birth, but was quite certain she could never adequately describe them in words — at least not with her usual poem-writing methods. Fortunately, her partner Christine White did it for her. Christine is studying at the New Zealand School of Music. Hinemoana has lifted the text for this found poem directly from Christine’s answers to an Electronic Music Theory and Analysis Exam. Strange but true.
Jane Gardner is a Wellington writer who completed the MA in Creative Writing at the IIML this year. ‘The blue position’ is the first poem she wrote in this course.
Jenny Bornholdt's latest book of poems is Mrs Winter’s Jump (Godwit, 2007). She has previously published seven books of poems, including a selected – Miss New Zealand. Jenny was the Te Mata Estate Poet Laureate in 2005/2006.
‘Interior Life’ was written for an exhibition of the same name held at PaperGraphica in Christchurch earlier this year. Printmaker Marian Maguire made a work in response to the poem and printed the complete work on Japanese paper.
‘sex poem’ was written during a ‘Sex, God, and Politics’ -themed workshop run by Dora Malech. Johanna Aitchison is 169cm tall and likes to change hair colour frequently.
Kerrin P Sharpe
Kerrin P Sharpe completed the 1976 Original Composition Course at Victoria University. She is a teacher of creative writing. In April 2007 she began work again on her own writing and has recently been published in The Press, Takahe, and Snorkel 5 & 6.
Kirsten McDougall lives in Wellington with her partner and son. ‘Ruth’ is an excerpt from the first section of a novella-in-progress. ‘Home Fires’, another novella, is published in Sport 34, and a small excerpt from the same piece can be found on Turbine 05.
Lesley Earl-Templeton lives in Wellington, works as a props maker for film and television and is the lucky mother of one wee boy. And she writes.
Louise Wareham Leonard
Louise Wareham Leonard grew up in Wellington and New York City. She is the author of two novels: Miss Me A Lot Of (July 2007, Victoria University Press, New Zealand) and Since You Ask (Akashic Books, New York 2004). Her prose poetry and poetry has appeared in several American journals including Poetry and Quarter After Eight.
Lynn Davidson has published two collections of poetry, Mary Shelley’s Window and Tender, and a novel, Ghost Net. Her poem ‘Illusion Foods’ is from a collection of poetry written this year as part of her MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters.
Mariana Isara has just finished an MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University. Her poems have appeared in the shower, on the bus, and while trying to sleep. She lives in Christchurch.
Mary Cresswell is a Wellington poet. She has published work in a variety of print and online journals, in NZ and overseas (mainly in the US). She is co-author of Millionaire’s Shortbread (U Otago, 2003).
Mary says this poem responds to the death of a friend — a marine biologist, so she is not sure where the fireflies flew in from. In actual fact, she says, they might be the phosphorescence that rides on the edges of waves.
Medb Charleton has a BA in Sociology from Trinity College Dublin. She arrived in Wellington from Sligo, Ireland in 2007 where she completed the MA in Creative Writing at Victoria and now continues to work on a collection of poetry drawing on experiences of place and environment.
‘I wrench the clock that was my heart out of my breast...’ H. Muller. Michele Amas says writing this poem felt like that.
Monica Bergers graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with an MFA in Fiction. She received a Teaching-Writing Fellowship while there, and had two of her stories chosen to be workshopped in master classes led by Lorrie Moore and George Saunders. Her novel excerpt about the Dust Bowl in Nebraska, ‘Breaking the Clouds’, has been nominated for the Best New American Voices 2008. She has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa and the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she earned an MA in English. A first-generation American whose family hails from Slovenija, Monica grew up in Arkansas, and has lived in Nebraska, Missouri, North Carolina, and Graz, Austria. She will teach the fiction workshop at the IIML over the summer.
Rachel Callinan has worked in theatre as a stage manager for almost eight years, but threw down her clipboard this year and completed the Scriptwriting MA, where she was lucky enough to have Dave as her supervisor. Being the only person writing for television in her class (the devil’s medium) she found she needed all the support she could get. Dave’s help was invaluable, and she hopes that by scraping together these prying and often embarrassing questions, from those who know him best, she can somehow show her gratitude to Dave.
Sam Reed holds an MFA from the University of Iowa, where he taught Poetry Writing and Creative Writing. His poems have appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, and Beloit Poetry Journal, which awarded him its 2006 Chad Walsh Poetry Prize. Previously he studied Environmental Studies at Prescott College, in Arizona. He was raised in Northern California. Sam will be teaching a poetry workshop at the IIML over the summer.
Sarah Bainbridge lives in Paekakariki. She spent her teenage years hiding her journals only to publish this excerpt on the internet as an adult.
SK Johnson is working on an MA in English at Victoria University in Wellington, after completing an MA in Creative Writing at Victoria’s IIML. She has previously had her work published in Valley Micropress and JAAM.
Sue Wootton’s first collection of poetry, Hourglass, was published in 2005, and a second collection, Magnetic South, is due out early 2008 (both published by Steele Roberts). Sue has been appointed as 2008 Roberts Burns Fellow at the University of Otago.
‘Bog Confessions’ began with an impulse to track down Nabokov’s comment ‘I confess I do not believe in time’. Sue says the route to the source of that statement was a meandering one, involving many butterflies.
Therese Lloyd’s poetry has appeared in Sport and Landfall, and a chapbook called many things happened, was published in 2006 by Pania Press. She completed her MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University and is the 2007-08 Schaeffer Fellow attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.