Closet for Rent
Alisha Tyson is a New Zealand/Australian hybrid. She works in libraries where she can often be found reading to children about bears who feel strongly about hats. Her work has appeared in The Daily Science Fiction. She has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Creative Writing from Whitireia Community Polytechnic.
Allan is a PhD student at Victoria University, where he reads Paradise Lost all the time because it is the subject of his thesis and because he loves it, which makes him very fortunate and grateful.
from Our Girl
Anahera Gildea has worked as a Drama and Art tutor and editor. Several of her short stories and novel extracts have won or been finalists for the Huia Short Story Competition, and in 2014 she won the Takahe Short Story Competition and was published in the anthology 'Sweet As’. She also completed an MA at the IIML, where she wrote a novel engaging with the dual worlds of Māori and Pākehā in New Zealand. The piece that appears here is an extract from the novel.
The pirate had eyes filled with jaguars,
Annaleese is a Creative Writing student at MIT in Otara. She likes getting in other people's way in bookshops and having long chats with herself in the shower. Her work has appeared in JAAM, Poetry NZ, Blackmail Press and others.
Becca Joyce worked on a collection of short stories as part of her MA in Creative Writing at the IIML in 2014. Her work has been published in Poetry NZ and small-press journals in the UK. She lives on the Kapiti Coast with her daughters.
Excerpts from a Reading Journal, 2014
Ben is a teacher, poet and new-to-the-game installation artist from Wellington. He recently completed the MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), Victoria University. Ben’s work has appeared in broadsheet: new New Zealand poetry, SWAMP Journal, BANG BANG BANG, Cordite Poetry Review, visualverse.org, the Times Educational Supplement, Education Review, and in installation art/poetry works at the Auckland Writers’ Festival and at LitCrawl, Wellington. When he’s not writing, Ben likes to ride his bike up and down Wellington’s hills.
from After Fiji
Bernard was born and raised all over the North Shore of Auckland. He changed tracks after skipping Commerce degree lectures to read books in the university library and graduated with Honours in English Literature at the University of Auckland. For 2014, he’s a creative non-fiction writer with the MA in Creative Writing at the IIML.
Brandy Scott is a journalist and broadcaster who has just completed the MA in Creative Writing at IIML. Over is a glosa; a form of writing that pays tribute to another author by embedding their work. The last line of each paragraph here is taken from the novel Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett.
Carin lives in Newton, Auckland. She juggles two jobs and she looks after her beautiful twin boys Kazma and Yuga who are eight.
The waiting game
Where you will—drink to this
Chris Tse’s poetry recently appeared in Best New Zealand Poems 2013, Glitterwolf, Sweet Mammalian and Rejectamenta. His first collection, How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, was published by Auckland University Press in 2014.
You’d never think to look at him
Claire Orchard was born in Wainuiomata, grew up in various Hutt Valley locations, and now lives in Wellington, where she completed an MA in Creative Writing at the IIML in 2013. Her work has been published in Penduline Press, Turbine, JAAM, 4th Floor, Sport and Landfall.
Another Nafanua Poem
Faith’s writing explores ideas of what it is to be a twenty-something, half-caste (afakasi) Samoan female in the twenty-first century and the tropes or expectations of that personhood. She’s really into using language and its sounds as a mechanism to upset or disturb these expectations. This year she completed her MA folio, titled Dolly Mix Tape, at the IIML as an ode to herself and the generations before her.
A Father to a Daughter
The Steel of your Bleeding
Fritz is a writer from Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty. Although writing since a teenager, he’s taken it more seriously in recent years. He is currently in his second year of the online creative writing programme at Whitireia Polytechnic. His poems have been published by the New Zealand Poetry Society, and are appearing in forthcoming publications from 4th Floor, Blackmail Press and UK and New Zealand online poetry journals.
Fritz says, “I can assure you the poems have been written with 97% hard work and some inspiration somewhere along the way…”
Poem About Both Of Us
Freya writes poems about Callum, her family, her sadness, and her discomfort with gods. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at the IIML in 2014.
Spider on the Wall
The Sound of Being Alone
Gina-Marie is a wild and brave woman, mama of ‘one gorgeous eccentric butch girl’, lover of animals (has a back/front-yard beaming with creatures), and poet. She’s produced an unyielding collection of poetry this year: bound apple-cake hot out of the oven of the IIML’s MA in Creative Writing 2014. In 2013 she completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Creative Writing at Whitireia New Zealand, Wellington. She lives on the stunning Kapiti Coast, playing in the feral sands of Otaki Beach.
Hannah Mettner is a Gisborne writer who lives and sometimes works in Wellington. She is one the the editors of Sweet Mammalian, a new literary journal. For further information, please consult her poems.
Helen’s debut collection of poetry, Graft, was published in May 2012 by VUP to critical acclaim. Graft won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book for Poetry award in 2013 and was the first book of fiction or poetry to be shortlisted for the Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize, also in 2013. Her poetry and essays have been published in many journals in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the USA including Best New Zealand Poems and the NZ Listener. Helen is currently working towards her PhD in Creative Writing at the IIML.
No No No
Johanna Emeney is an Auckland teacher and poet. She is working towards a PhD at Massey University.
Lone Kauri (reprise)
There’s one straight out of the box
John Dennison was born in Sydney in 1978, and grew up in Tawa, New Zealand. He has lived and studied in Dunedin and St Andrews, Scotland, and now lives with his family in Wellington, where he is a university chaplain. His poems have appeared in magazines both in the UK and in New Zealand and Australia, and were anthologised in Carcanet’s New Poetries V (2011). His first collection, Otherwise, will be published by Carcanet and Auckland University Press in 2015.
How It Was
Juliet Allnatt works in education and has just completed an MA at the IIML. This excerpt comes from Mizpah, A Story of My People, a memoir/biography which blends archived correspondence with historical and personal narrative to trace her family's diaspora from Europe to New Zealand.
Kerrin P. Sharpe
teeth can be heroes
the cataract brothers
Kerrin’s first book three days in a wishing well was published by VUP in 2012. Her work appeared in Oxford Poets 13 (Carcanet). Another book, there’s a medical name for this, has just been released by VUP.
Lee lives in Wellington. Books he’s recently enjoyed include King Jesus by Robert Graves, A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History by Manuel de Landa, and My Wars and Laid Away in Books: the Life of Emily Dickinson by Alfred Habegger. New Zealanders he’s recently admired include John Dennison, Jack Ross and Therese Lloyd.
Sigh Like Twig the Wonder Kid
The End of Talk
Lesley Wheeler’s poetry collections are The Receptionist and Other Tales, Heterotopia, and Heathen. These poems will appear in her forthcoming book, Radioland, which draws partly on her experience as a Fulbright scholar at Victoria University in 2011. She has a sonnet sequence about that year in Valparaiso Poetry Review and a poem in Unsplendid about first hearing Bill Manhire read (although she owes that poem’s tuatara quote to Harry Ricketts). Lesley teaches at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, in the U.S., and lives virtually at lesleywheeler.org.
Lesley says, “Autumn is blowing in hard this afternoon in Lexington, and the maples are turning red.”
Christchurch, October 2012
All is lost
Louise Wallace is the author of two books of poetry: Since June (2009) and Enough (2013) both published by VUP. Next year Louise and her husband are heading down to Dunedin to begin a new adventure as the Robert Burns Fellow for 2015 at the University of Otago.
Louise says: "In 2012 I was fortunate to be invited to do a reading for the very welcoming Canterbury Poets Collective. The Christchurch poem here and the photograph I took of the cinema with its front wall torn off, capture my two most 'out-of-body' experiences from that post-quake trip to the Garden City." ‘All is Lost’ was inspired by the Robert Redford movie of the same name. She says, “I hope Robert Redford will like it.”
Excerpt from the novel Arnold and Joe
Luke Elworthy, who lives in Blenheim, completed an MA in Creative Writing at the IIML in 2014. When he began work on his novel Arnold and Joe - a story of a close and often obsessive friendship between two men - he wanted to write a ‘manly romantic thriller’.
Islay, Aberdeen, Lothian, Brisbane, Pukerua Bay
Lynn Davidson has published poetry, fiction and essays. Her latest books are Common Land which combines poetry and essays, and a novella The Desert Road. Lynn has poems in The Best of Best New Zealand Poems, Big Weather: Poems of Wellington, Essential New Zealand Poems, Another English: Anglophone Poems from Around the World and PN Review. Lynn is currently working towards a PhD in Creative Writing at Massey University, Wellington. In 2013 Lynn was writing fellow at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland.
Lynn Jenner is a writer and teacher of creative writing. She is also a researcher in the area of how creative writing courses work. Her first book Dear Sweet Harry won the Jessie McKay Best First Book of Poetry prize in 2010. ‘Peat’ is one of the early pieces of a new project which documents the arrival of the Kāpiti Expressway in paradise in the Kāpiti coast.
Maike Wetzel was born in 1974, attended film school in Munich and in the UK and is a German writer, screenwriter and journalist. She is the author of two award-winning collections of short stories: Lange Tage (2003) [Long Days, 2008, excerpt longlisted for the Frank O'Connor short story award 2009] and Hochzeiten [Weddings] (2000), both published by S. Fischer Verlag. Her stories have appeared in over 40 anthologies, on radio and on screen. Maike Wetzel has directed short films and documentaries and also writes screenplays. Her stories are widely translated. In 2014 she was the inaugural Goethe Institut New Zealand's Writer in Residence, spending two months in Wellington.
Marisa graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Hagley Writers’ Institute in 2011. Her poetry has been published by Landfall, Takahe, Snorkel, Turbine, Blackmail Press, Interlit Q, Shot Glass Journal, The Press, and several anthologies. In 2013 she received a mentorship from the New Zealand Society of Authors.
Happy New Year
Marty’s debut collection Horse with hat was published by VUP in February 2014 and won the Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry at the 2014 New Zealand Book Awards. It was also a finalist in the Poetry category in the same awards.
Of the poem here, Marty says, “A bit of butcher bullshit. (Sorry Charlie, to call you out on bullshitting, but the sound echo is so excellent. Just like your smile makes your patter so nice.)”
Max L. Chapnick
Excerpts from a Reading Journal, 2014
An interview with Hinemoana Baker
Max L. Chapnick writes poems about physicists, travel, and space. He completed an MA in Creative Writing at the IIML in 2014 and researched New Zealand art/science collaborations on a 2014 US Student Fulbright grant. His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The Evansville Review, The Legendary, Rejectamenta, The Westchester Review, BANG BANG BANG, and other literary journals. In 2013, he graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, with degrees in Physics and English. He is from White Plains, New York.
Medb Charleton was born in Ireland and first came to New Zealand in 2005. She completed her MA in Creative Writing at the IIML in 2007 and has since had poems appear in Poetry New Zealand, Landfall, Sport, JAAM and Takahe.
Kava i kik
Mikaela Nyman is a New Zealand writer who is currently experiencing the challenges and joys of living and working in the Pacific. One of her fictional short stories set in Vanuatu was published in a UK anthology last year. This year, one of her creative non-fiction stories set in Vanuatu won the UK 2014 Travel Expert Writing Award. She completed an MA at the IIML in 2011 and is currently working on a collection of short stories set in Vanuatu.
There’s a certain amount of you that needs to lie to yourself
Morgan Bach completed her MA at the IIML in 2013, where she wrote a collection of poetry and was the recipient of the Biggs Family Prize in Poetry. The resulting book will be published by Victoria University Press in mid-2015. She lives in Wellington.
Natasha Dennerstein was born in Melbourne to a family originating in Belarus. She worked as a psychiatric nurse for many years, which gave her an interesting perspective on the human condition. In 2011 she competed the MA in Creative Writing at the IIML at Victoria University. Natasha has poetry published in 4th Floor, Landfall, Snorkel, JAAM, Takahe, Bloom and in several anthologies. She is currently living in San Francisco, where she is an MFA candidate in poetry in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University.
Nina Powles is a student from Wellington. Her poems have appeared in Salient and Sweet Mammalian. Her first poetry chapbook, Girls of the Drift, is about real and fictional women of New Zealand history and will be published by Seraph Press in December 2014.
This year Rebecca Nash lived in Paekakariki and did her MA at the IIML and made a baby. What she will do next year is anybody’s guess. Though she will probably write more poems.
Rupa Maitra has been undertaking an MA in creative writing at the IIML in 2014. She is a NZ born Bengali violinist and pathologist.
from You Must be George
Ruth is in her final year of her Masters in Physics at Victoria University of Wellington. She has just returned from three months studying poetry and fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop summer graduate programme. She has a minor in Creative Writing from the IIML. Her work has recently appeared or is upcoming in New Welsh Review, Poetry24, Tuesday Poem, the Bristol Short Story Competition Anthology, the Dominion Post, The Feminist Wire, Hue&Cry, the Listener, JAAM, Natural Bridge, Salient, and Landfall. She is shortlisted for this year’s HISSAC short story competition.
The Queen (1953)
Tracey Schuyt has a BCA and a DipGrad in English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington. She has spent 2014 studying Creative Writing at Whitireia Polytechnic.
Jonah and the Void
Ursula Robinson-Shaw hasn't slept in three days. Her mass is comprised mainly of eye shadow.