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Newsletter July 2017
Cat on mat lemons

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 communities.
Read on for more news and information …

Hellebore Kaumatua
Tania Stewart                                            
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 literary scene.
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.

Download the Programme and Purchase Tickets here
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)
Alumni Catch-up
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.

Upcoming Event...
A Celebration for National Poetry Day
20 Poets in Devonport
at Depot Artspace,
28 Clarence Street, Devonport
from 5.30pm, Friday 25th August
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.
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 Charitable Trust.

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Michael King Writers' Centre · PO Box 32 629 · Devonport · Auckland, 0744 · New Zealand

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