In June we bade farewell to Frankie McMillan and welcomed Whiti Hereaka as
the writer in residence. The winter has brought the usual array of
heavy rain, strong winds and even a power cut – although that was due to
a car accident rather than being weather related.
Our alumni continue to develop their craft and enjoy successes and
accolades as well as being an inspiration to younger writers in our
Read on for more news and information …
|Annual Writers Weekend
The Business of Writing—Making a Living Through Words
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th November 2017
Join us for an
up-close and personal weekend of practical advice and inspiration, from
our stellar line-up of award-winning writers including Ben Sanders, Paul
Cleave, Gina Cole, Joanne Drayton, Adam Dudding, David Geller, Renee
Liang, Courtney Sina Meredith, Paula Morris, Ben Sanders, C. K. Stead,
Julie Thomas and Ashleigh Young.
Delegates will have the opportunity to dine with publishers from eight
of New Zealand’s top publishing houses at the much-anticipated
Publishers Lunch, as well as attend the launch of False River by Paula
Morris (Penguin NZ, 2017), alongside invited guests from New Zealand’s
Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis, with a maximum
of 50 tickets available. The ticket price of $329 including GST
includes the two day workshop, catering, the Paula Morris book launch,
and the Publishers Lunch.
Welcome to Whiti Hereaka
I’m working on the third draft of my novel Kurangaituku
during my residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre. I started
the research for the novel here, so it feels like a sort of homecoming
for the project. Time away from my usual routine has allowed me think
about my manuscript anew – what am I trying to say? How do I tell the
story I want to tell? How do I invite the reader into the story?
I’ve been working on the project for a few years now so thinking about starting afresh is both terrifying and exciting.
Recollections of Michael King
We are keen to hear from people who knew
or met Michael King and would like to send us a note of their
recollections of him. Here is latest recollection from one of our
founding trustees, Wensley Wilcox (now retired)…
Who knows about the UK-based Arvon Foundation Writing workshops?
Who now remembers that Michael King was one of the key facilitators of a
series of a similar residential Writing Workshops held here, in rural
Albany NZ, from 1986 to 1993?
Here is the story behind my getting to meet up with the famous Dr Michael King.
What I already knew was that throughout his stellar career as a
researcher, historian, editor, journalist, author, and teacher Michael
was recognised as a man of spirited generosity. He was a man of letters
who did not choose to spend all his working life within the reliable
comfort of academia. Instead he became renowned for his very personal
concern and practical support for the many other writers who sought to
make sense of the world around them throughout Aotearoa.
NEWS – What has been happening?
The Young Writers Programme
On Friday 2 June, we took 19 students to The Body Laid Bare, the Tate
Nudes exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery. Guest tutor, Chris Price,
led a workshop in ekphrasis, writing poetry inspired by the artworks.
The nudes, from classical to post-modern, were superb catalysts to work
that we hope will end up in Signals 2017.
Our last workshop for this year “Film and Fiction”, was hosted by Massey
University, Albany, on 5 July. Matt Harris introduced the group of 23
students to his award-winning short films, 43,000 Feet and Madam Black. After lunch, Tina Makereti (Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings, 2014) ran a workshop on fiction. Students were also introduced to university life by Jenny Lawn, Head of School.
We are now launching our master classes for the year—these are for
writers aged 16-25 who are very committed to a particular genre, and are
willing to come in to the National Library Building, Parnell, on a
weekend day to work with a talented NZ author, and a smaller group,
10am-1.30pm. Our first one is nearly booked up now, and is on August 5
with poet Gregory Kan.
Ros Ali (Programme Co-ordinator)
The next class is with Whiti Hereaka (Writing Like a Thief - 19th August). This is a master class in fiction. You are encouraged to apply now. For more information and to apply…
The Poetry Project
The Poetry Project has been in full swing in 2017. Our programme reaches
hundreds of primary and intermediate students across Auckland,
providing resources to encourage students to express themselves through
poetry. We welcomed local poets and spoken word experts Daren Kamali and
Zech Soakai back to the programme this year.
In April, The Poetry Project held workshops at Te Papapa Primary school
with Zech Soakai leading 60 enthusiastic Year 5 and 6 students in
writing poems and performing some exercises to help those students say
their poems out loud.
We visited another favourite school in April, Sir Edmund Hillary Middle
School, with Daren Kamali leading Our Place Our Maunga workshops to 60
Year 7 and 8 students where they explored culture and identity. The
Poetry Project partnered with Fresh Gallery in Otara to display
beautiful poems from Sir Edmund Hillary Middle School’s workshops. The
students worked hard to develop a spoken word performance, blending
dance, music, and poems, and performed two special performances live at
Fresh Gallery in June. Many thanks to Sina at Sir Edmund and Reina at
Fresh Gallery for their hard work to make these events so successful.
In May and June, The Poetry Project visited three schools new to our
programme and were thrilled to build bridges with new communities. Daren
Kamali worked with Papatoetoe Intermediate’s students on poems
celebrating Matariki and celebrated cultural identity with Otahuhu
Intermediate’s devoted Year 7 and 8’s. The Poetry Project finished the
school semester with Zech Soakai leading Year 5 and 6 students at Glen
Eden Primary to celebrate Matariki through haikus to great success.
Our programme will finish in August with two North Shore schools. Many
thanks to all of the teachers and staff who have so enthusiastically
brought The Poetry Project to their schools.
Carrie Rudzinski (Programme Co-ordinator)
Sarah Laing is one of three New Zealand writers
selected to present her work and participate in the prestigious
Edinburgh International Book Festival in August. A new partnership
between the festival, WORD Christchurch and Creative New Zealand has
resulted in the talented line-up of New Zealand writers, all with
acclaimed books, set to make an impression at the renowned literary
event. This year’s book festival programme features more than 1000
authors from 45 countries.
Sarah has held MKWC residencies in 2008 and 2013. Congratulations Sarah, we are proud of you!
On Film…two of our alumni have films in the Auckland International Film Festival which is currently on. Bill Direen who held the University of Auckland/MKWC residency in 2010 is the subject of a film and Briar Grace Smith who held the Maori Writer’s Residency last year has co-directed a film...
Bill Direen: A Memory of Others 2017 (World Premiere)
Directed by Simon Ogston
For more information and screening times..
Waru 2017 (World Premiere)
Directed by Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe, Chelsea Cohen, Renae Maihi, Paula Jones, Awanui Simich-Pene Aotearoa
For more information and screening times...
Ben Brown who held our Maori Writers’ Residency in 2011
was recently the subject of a short film that screened in the Doc Edge –
Documentary Film Festival. Read more...
Thanks to Suzanne Weinert (visiting writer)…
Suzanne has over 20 years’ experience in the film industry working as a
writer/producer in the movie business, on both big Hollywood studio
movies as well as small independent films set in the American Southwest.
In addition Suzanne has been a Professor of Advanced Screenwriting at
The School of Visual Arts and Fordham University in NYC as well as The
University of Texas at Austin.
We were excited to be able to link our visiting writer up with Sam
Lilly, the TiC of Media Studies at Takapuna Grammar and are very
grateful to her for giving up some valuable writing time to visit the
school. Suzanne kindly offered a lunchtime Q&A session which was
attended by over 20 senior students who were keen to quiz Suzanne about
many different aspects of film making.
Read more about Suzanne here…
Congratulations to MKWC Trustee Paula Morris who has been announced as a finalist in the 2017 Fairfax Media and Westpac Women of Influence Awards – Ka Mahi Paula!
Now in its fifth year, the Women of Influence programme recognises and
celebrates those women from all walks of life who make a positive
difference to the lives of their fellow New Zealanders; women whose
achievements go beyond success in their personal and professional lives,
and whose influence benefits their communities.
Presented by Westpac and Fairfax Media, the programme highlights the
significant contribution women are making to New Zealand’s growth and
development, builds the profile of women leaders, and reaffirms the
value of bold and diverse thoughts and actions in creating a vibrant
present and a bright future for all New Zealanders.
Award winners will be announced on September 7 at the Awards Dinner at SkyCity Auckland.
A Celebration for National Poetry Day
Celebrate 20 years of National
Poetry Day with...20 Poets in Devonport. Twenty poets, past and present,
in readings and presentations for this National Celebration.
20 Poets in Devonport
at Depot Artspace,
28 Clarence Street, Devonport
from 5.30pm, Friday 25th August
For more information
The Michael King Writers’ Centre sincerely thanks its funders
and partners, including Creative New Zealand, the Devonport Takapuna
Local Board, Auckland Council, Foundation North, the Lion Foundation,
the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust and the Chisholm Whitney Family