The Valley of No Radio
Airini Beautrais usually lives somewhere near Wellington. Her first book of prose poetry, Secret Heart, was published by VUP in 2006. She is currently working on a second collection. ‘The Valley of No Radio’ is part of a longer series of poems entitled ‘Omens’. Small and perhaps insignificant events in everyday life, such as losing a station while driving, become portents for the future.
Alexandra Keeble moved to Wellington from Melbourne in 2008 for the IIML Masters in Creative Writing. She is a freelance editor and an occasional documentary maker.
‘Do not open the door’ is taken from her MA folio, a short novel titled Ava. This conversation takes place between two young women living in Gaza, after a siege in which residents were held in the basement of their apartment block while their roof was being used as a military surveillance point.
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).
Fetishist’s Photo Album
Ashleigh Young is a Wellington-based writer and editor and still a sometime poet. She owns a fair few pairs of shoes. Her essays appear in Booknotes and her poems occasionally in Sport.
Your Pope’s Man
Starting in July 2007, Bernadette Hall held the Rathcoola Fellowship which gave her six months living and writing in Donoughmore, Co. Cork, Ireland. A new collection of poems, The Lustre Jug, based on her Irish experience, will be published next year. In 2006 while Writer in Residence at Victoria University, she completed The Ponies which was published by VUP in 2007. ‘Sastrugi’, from that collection, was turned into a choral work by Christchurch composer Chris Archer this year. Bernadette lives at Amberley Beach, North Canterbury, and is currently a tutor at the newly established Hagley Writers’ Institute in Christchurch.
Excerpts from a reading journal, 2008
Briar Grace-Smith is of Ngāpuhi descent. She writes for theatre, television and film and her short fiction has been included in various anthologies. Her plays have toured both New Zealand and internationally. She was an inaugural recipient of the New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2000 and Writer in Residence at Victoria University in 2003. Her screenplay The Strength of Water will première in 2009. She is currently working on her first novel.
Catharina van Bohemen
from Towards Compostella
Catharina van Bohemen walked the Camino de Santiago in 1998 and wrote about it in 2008 while completing the MA in Creative Writing at the IIML. In between she has taught English, reviewed fiction for the Dominion Post and New Zealand Books, and contributed to Booknotes.
Looking for Shorty’s Cabin
The End of the Line
Charis Boos was born in America in 1979. She was a member of the 2008 MA in Creative Writing class at Victoria University. She lives in Auckland, where she teaches Latin and Classical Studies.
The steady gaze of people on earth
Clare Moleta’s short stories have appeared in Turbine, Sport, Crowd Control and on buildings in inner-city Melbourne. She has also won several awards for her travel writing.
People are everywhere breaking into blossom
Cliff Fell’s second collection of poems, Beauty of the Badlands, was published by VUP in 2008.
Of ‘People are everywhere breaking into blossom’ he says: ‘This was written in one sitting, late in October, while watching cherry blossoms fall on people passing along the street outside my workplace window. While I recognised almost immediately that the title line, the poem’s first impulse, was drawn from my memory of James Wright’s fine poem, ‘The Blessing’, I think now that the giddy optimism underpinning these lines really came from my growing anticipation that Barack Obama was soon to be elected to the White House, and my sense that we were on the cusp of a moment of hope and light.’
Craig Cliff currently lives in Edinburgh and works for a global financial services company; he rates the impact of the credit crunch on his life as a three-point-five. His poetry has appeared in Trout, Blackmail Press, and Snorkel, and his fiction most recently in Best New Zealand Fiction Volume 5.
One for the Boys
Diana Wilson graduated as a Teaching-Writing Fellow from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with an MFA in Fiction. She taught literature and creative writing at the University of Iowa, and was awarded the 2008/09 Glenn Schaeffer Pre-Doctoral Fellowship to teach an Iowa Workshop in fiction at the IIML. A citizen of Canada, Diana resides in the western province of British Columbia. Her writing has been published in several Canadian magazines and she is currently at work on her first novel.
Last week of a life
Elizabeth Smither was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry, 2008. Her most recent collections are The Year of Adverbs (AUP, 2007) and Horse playing the accordion (ahadada press, 2007).
‘Last week of a life’ (which turned out not to be the last week at all) was written for a friend, Viv Bone, known as Fox 2 (Elizabeth was Fox 1) who died with great gallantry and concern for her friends after a brief illness.
Emma Neale is an editor and writer who lives in Dunedin. She has published four novels (all with Random House) and three collections of poetry, the latest of which is Spark (Steele Roberts, 2008).
‘Sunny Disposition’ was written for Irene Sutton.
Esther Deans currently teaches English in South Auckland. She would rather be in Wellington, but is remaining positive. She likes writing, travelling and sushi.
working in the halfway house
Frankie McMillan lives in Christchurch. Her short story collection, The Bag Lady’s Picnic was published in 2001 by Shoal Bay Press. Her poems have been widely published in periodicals and books.
from Long White Cloud
Geoff Page is a Canberra-based poet. The most recent of his eighteen collections are Agnostic Skies (Five Islands Press) and Seriatim (Salt, UK). His 60 Classic Australian Poems is due out in 2009. He made a reading tour of New Zealand in August/September 2008.
7 Things Nigel Told Me About Bruce Chatwin
Harry Ricketts teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at Victoria University of Wellington. His most recent collection of poems is Your Secret Life (2005).
from Oblonsky’s Smile
Excerpts from a reading journal, 2008
Heather Mackenzie completed Oblonsky’s Smile while studying for the MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University in 2008. She won the AA Directions Best New Travel Writer Prize in the 2008 Cathay Pacific Travcom Awards.
Feminist: A Found Poem
Hinemoana Baker is a writer, musician, producer and teacher of creative writing. Her Māori whakapapa ranges from Taranaki through the Horowhenua down to the Ōtākou peninsula near Dunedin. Her Pākehā ancestors were from England and Bavaria. Hinemoana’s first poetry collection, mātuhi | needle (2004), was co-published in New Zealand by Victoria University Press and in the US by Perceval Press. In 2007 she co-edited the anthology Kaupapa: New Zealand Poets, World Issues and created the sound design for I Can See Fiji: Poetry and Sound by Teresia Teaiwa. This year she edited 4th Floor 2008, the online literary journal of Whitireia Polytechnic. She is about to publish a new collection of poetry, I’m sick of this place, let’s get back on the canoe. For more information, see her website.
‘Feminist: A Found Poem’ is composed from internet comments about the TV show New Zealand’s Got Talent. The comments were from a member of the website ‘uthink’. The text, with minor adaptations, is reproduced here with permission.
The No Poem
James Brown’s four poetry collections are Go Round Power Please (winner of the Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award), Lemon, Favourite Monsters, and The Year of the Bicycle. He is also the author behind the non-fiction booklet Instructions for Poetry Readings and, in 2005, edited The Nature of Things: Poems from the New Zealand Landscape. He has been a finalist in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards three times and is the editor of the online anthology Best New Zealand Poems 2008. He lives in Wellington with his partner and two children.
Jennifer Compton was born in Wellington in 1949, and ventured as far as Australia in 1972. Until her children were born in the 80s she was trans-Tasman, winning the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award for a short story in the late 70s, being the writer in residence at the University of Canterbury, and, courtesy of the Stately Tree Fund, spending time living by the Hungaroa River in Martinborough. Village life fascinates her, and ‘Landscaping’ is one of a series inspired by the small hamlet of Wingello where she lived with her family until recently. She returned from her tenure in Randell Cottage in Wellington in 2008 to live in the village of Upwey on the outskirts of Melbourne. At this present time she is writing poetry, finishing a collection of travel memoir/creative non-fiction called The Wrong Side Of The Road, and working on a novel which is set in the Wairarapa. Her stage play, The Big Picture, which premièred in Sydney and was mounted by Circa Theatre, is receiving a production in Perth in 2009.
Jennifer van Beynen
from In the Silence of Orchids
Jennifer van Beynen lives in Wellington and has recently completed her MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University. This extract is from a novel-in-progress, tentatively titled In the Silence of Orchids – which, although set in California in the early 1960s, was inspired by an afternoon walk in Dunedin.
Joan Fleming is a Wellington writer who now lives in Golden Bay. She received the Biggs Poetry Prize in 2007. She likes the deceptiveness of prose poems.
the air was freaky with champagne
The waves ate other waves with their white teeth
Johanna Aitchison is currently working on her third volume of poems, We Have Come To Collect Our Lives, with the help of a grant from Creative New Zealand. She teaches primary school in Palmerston North and enjoys riding her bike almost everywhere.
The beginning of ‘full bloom’ – ‘the painter with no memory’ – is borrowed from the first line of a Michael Palmer poem, ‘Untitled’ (2000).
Kathy McVey is a writer based in sunny Gisborne. She has spent the past year pondering the mind-body connection as it relates to health and illness, and writing poetry about drugs and other obsessions for her MA in Creative Writing at the IIML.
‘Becoming Well’ was written in response to her breast cancer diagnosis in 2005, when her son was two years old.
Excerpts from a reading journal, 2008
Kelly Joseph is an 80s child, an occasional artist, a fanatical op-shopper, an unabashed Kate Bush fan, and a wanna-be time-traveller. She has a canary called Sunshine and a scooter called Wildfire. She likes pictures and words, especially when they are mixed together.
Infidelities of Coal
I Don’t Know, but It’s My Job to Tell You
Lucas Bernhardt worked for a variety of mental health and social service organizations before earning MAs in English and Writing from Portland State University, as well as an MFA in Poetry Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His poetry and criticism have appeared in journals such as Verso, Drunken Boat, Aught, Iodine, and elimae. He was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and raised on the central coast of California.
The Day Before the Battle of the Somme
Excerpts from a reading journal, 2008
Lynn Jenner received the 2008 Adam Prize in Creative Writing, which is awarded annually to an outstanding student in the Masters in Creative Writing programme at the International Institute of Modern Letters. The work published here is from her winning manuscript, Dear Sweet Harry.
‘The Day Before the Battle of the Somme’ is based on the story of film footage shot by the photographer Geoffrey Malins. A military activity, counting the living, is shown. ‘Women’s Business’ looks at some of love’s nastier obligations.
Manon Revuelta is an eighteen-year-old student living in Auckland City, originally from Waiheke Island. She was the recipient of the New Zealand Post National Schools Poetry Award this year, and has a fondness for marmite and avocado on toast.
Mark O’Flynn is an Australian writer. His third collection of poems What Can Be Proven was published by Interactive Press in 2007. His novel, Grassdogs, was published by Harper Collins in 2006. He has also published reviews, articles and short fiction in a wide range of journals and magazines. He lives in the Blue Mountains.
‘Twenty Geese’ was written while on a writing residency in Ireland.
2008 has been a dream year for Mary McCallum’s first novel The Blue, written for her MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University. It won Best First Novel and Readers’ Choice at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, was short-listed for the Prize in Modern Letters, has had two reprints, been adapted for radio, and is being translated into Hebrew for the Israeli market. Mary won the Louis Johnson Prize to work on her second novel, Precarious, with publication expected in 2010. She also writes a blog called O Audacious Book and tutors in Creative Writing at Massey University. It was the latter which inspired her short story ‘The Stairwell’.
Mercedes Webb-Pullman came home to New Zealand in January 2008, after almost forty years away. She has since completed modules of Poetry and Short Fiction towards a Diploma of Creative Writing from Whitireia Polytechnic, and the IIML Poetry Workshop. She will attend the Iowa Workshop at the IIML in the summer of 2008/09. She works with stained glass, and reads at open mic sessions on the Kapiti Coast.
Michael Palmer lives in San Francisco. His most recent book of poetry is Company of Moths (New Directions, 2005). In the spring of 2007, a chapbook, The Counter-Sky (with translations by Koichiro Yamauchi), was published by Meltemia Press of Japan, to coincide with the Tokyo Poetry and Dance Festival. His selected essays, Active Boundaries, recently appeared from New Directions.
‘Transit’ results from his visit to New Zealand in May of 2008, in particular a brief, though profoundly enjoyable and informing, residency at Victoria University in Wellington.
Michele Amas’ After the Dance was a finalist in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2007, and nominated for the Prize in Modern Letters in 2008. She is currently working towards her second collection with the working title Follow After.
Paul Dagarin works in both Australia and New Zealand as a journalist of sorts, specialising in school leavers and aged-care. He knows absolutely nothing about the bits in between. Among his various prizes and awards is a meat raffle he picked up in the Cambridge Hotel’s Alpha Lounge, as well as the Most Improved Forward, Under 7s, Poneke Rugby Club, 1976. He lives with his wife and children on prime beach frontage somewhere north of Wellington.
Pip Adam lives in Wellington where she writes short prose. Her work has been published in Sport, The Lumiere Reader, Glottis and, recently, the special Hawera edition of Hue & Cry, produced for Came a Hot Sundae: Ronald Hugh Morrieson Festival, a one-day sculpture project orchestrated by Liz Allen.
Rachael Cookson was a student in the 2008 MA class at the IIML. These two excerpts are from her novel Distance, which she continues to work on. Rachael writes for children.
Fiction of Menton
Rachel Bush lives in Nelson. She has written three books of poetry. The most recent, All Patients Report Here (Wai-te-ata Press) was written after a short time as poet in residence at Wellington Hospital. The Unfortunate Singer (1997) and The Hungry Woman (2002) are published by VUP.
She once spent a happy weekend in Paris.
Rachel O’Neill is an artist and writer living in Wellington. This year she has worked on a collection of prose and poetry for an MA in Creative Writing at the IIML. In 2008 she also began a blog. Rachel graduated with a BA/BFA conjoint degree from the University of Auckland in 2005. ‘Evolving’ is a story that features in her MA collection Resign from the compass.
Excerpts from a reading journal, 2008
Samiha Radcliffe has just completed the MA in Creative Writing at the IIML for which she wrote a collection of poetry. She currently resides on the Kapiti Coast.
Sarah Jane Barnett
Flight over Willow Creek
Sarah Jane Barnett was born in Canterbury in 1977 and now works as an IT professional and writer in Wellington. Her work has appeared in a range of literary journals, such as Landfall, Sport, Takahe and JAAM and on the e-zines Blackmail Press, Deep South and Snorkel. During 2006 Sarah completed a Masters in Creative Writing at the IIML and she is currently working on her first book.
Borrowing Anne Sexton’s Attire
Of Scottish, Irish and unknown ancestry, Siobhan Harvey was born in 1973. She has recently published work in Landfall 215, NZ Listener, Meanjin (Aus), More Sweet Lemons: An anthology of Sicilian writing in English (Canada), Snorkel 7 (Aus) and Swings and Roundabouts: Poems about Parenting. Her poetry and prose have been broadcast on Radio New Zealand. She was runner-up in the inaugural Bernard Gadd Memorial Poetry Prize (2008). She is the incoming poetry editor of Takahe magazine and teaches creative writing courses at The University of Auckland.
Out of the Wind
Sue Wootton is the 2008 Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago. She has two collections of poetry, Hourglass (Steele Roberts, 2005) and Magnetic South (Steele Roberts, 2008). ‘Out of the wind’ was written after a particularly stormy midwinter visit to Wellington.
from The Albatross-Eaters
Sylvie Haisman’s short stories are published in the Australian literary journals Heat, Island and Southerly and her story ‘How to reverse gravity’ won a prize in the 2008-9 Commonwealth Short Story Competition. Her radio feature Tell Me A Shipwreck was produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and aired on ABC Radio National in June 2008. She is currently completing her novel The Albatross-Eaters, which she submitted in draft form as her thesis for the IIML’s 2008 Creative Writing MA programme. For more information, see her website.
The Albatross-Eaters is based on the true story of Sylvie’s great-great-grandfather Charles Wordsworth, who was shipwrecked in 1876. Along with his mother and 47 other survivors, Charlie was stranded for six months on a tiny, barren, sub-Antarctic island.
Tim Upperton has published poetry and fiction in Agni (US), Bravado, Dreamcatcher (UK), Landfall, NZ Listener, North & South, Sport, and Takahe. He is a former poetry editor for Bravado, and judged its poetry competition in 2008. His first poetry collection, Like Smoke, will be published by Steele Roberts in 2009. Tim teaches creative writing and travel writing at Massey University, and also runs after his four kids, who sometimes appear in his poems.
from Once upon a time in Aotearoa...
Tina Makereti wrote a collection of short stories for an MA in Creative Writing at the IIML in 2008. One day she wondered what would happen if some of our traditional gods and goddesses were only human, living in contemporary Aotearoa. Who would they be, and what would motivate them to act out their tales in the present day? ‘Topknot’ and ‘Ahi’ were two of the stories that emerged.
Tom Goulter and Hannah McKie
Sleeptalking with David Geary: An Interview
Tom Goulter is a Wellington-based filmmaker with a background in theatre and scriptwriting. His latest script is a hilarious family-centric comedy about the Apocalypse. He updates his blog with maddening infrequency.
Hannah McKie is a young emerging playwright with a background in acting and design. While she has studied in Australia and the US she still calls New Zealand home. Hannah has a BA in Theatre and Film from Victoria University and has recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at the IIML.
Kafka on everything
Tony O’Brien was born in Dunedin in 1953 and has lived in Auckland since 1978. His short stories have been published in the Western Leader, Takahe, JAAM, and Glottis, and the online journals Carve, Summerset Review, Mississippi Review, Espresso Fiction, Conversely, Fiction Warehouse, storySouth, Southern Ocean Review, Eclectica and Word Riot. He has stories in the print anthology At Home (Random House, 2005) and Best New Zealand Fiction Volume 2 (Random House, 2005). Other stories have been produced for radio and adapted for film. Tony works as a mental health nurse and lectures in mental health nursing at the University of Auckland.
‘Kafka on everything’ was written following a visit to Prague in 2005. There is a huge Kafka industry there, and he was fortunate to be able to see an exhibition originally curated by the Barcelona Museum. The most telling exhibit was the Kafka family tree, which more or less ended about 1940.
2008 is Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle’s last year at Western Springs College in Auckland. She was long-listed in the secondary schools division of the Sunday Star-Times’ short story competition this year, and won third place in 2007. She has appeared in Re-Draft several times and has two poems in the New Zealand Poetry Society Anthology 2008. She is looking forward to studying creative writing at university.