News 2016

Alumni Writers in Residence, 2016

09 November 2016

Alumni Writers in Residence

Several of our alumni have recently received recognition and released work including the following;

David Eggleton – David is one of our alumni having held a residency in 2009, he has been named the winner of the 2016 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in poetry and his  most recent collection of poetry, The Conch Trumpet won the 2016 Ockham NZ Book Award for Poetry. 

The awards recognise notable literary achievement by New Zealand writers who have made a significant contribution to New Zealand literature in the genres of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Creative New Zealand's list of all previous winners can be found here.

He is well-known as a performance poet and as editor of both Landfall and Landfall Review Online. As one of his nominators commented, ‘he has, for over 30 years, made a vital contribution to the poetry community throughout New Zealand. He is truly a bard, a bard with street credentials. He sings our nationhood.’

Bill Direen – Bill held the University of Auckland/MKWC residency in 2010 and has recently completed the two projects he was working on whilst here.  Bill says ‘the works are one long poem, titled Centre and the second is The Book of Return, an auto-fictional novel of diary entries during many years of returning to and leaving New Zealand.   

This is combined with fragments from a novel about a character who all but dies in Paris in another of my novels (Jules, 2003), but returns as if from the dead, to try to continue his life in London. His return proves to be not as easy as all that’.

Bill has just completed a national tour performing music and doing readings from his work – the tour started in Dunedin and finished in Auckland.

In addition, four new songs were released on an EP in the U.S. in September, to coincide with the U.S. re-release of Beatin Hearts, the first Flying Nun studio album (1982) for Bill and The Builders.

Sarah Laing - Sarah completed her debut novel Dead People’s Music at the centre in 2008 when she held a six-week residency.

Sarah was welcomed back in 2013 as the University of Auckland / Michael King Writers’ Centre Fellow and she worked on her graphic memoir, Mansfield and Me.

Grappling with Mansfield’s legacy as New Zealand’s finest short story writer, she examined her own desire to be a ‘real writer’ in lush watercolour illustrations. This book was launched on the 6th of October 2016 by Victoria University Press, in time for Mansfield’s 128th birthday.

Kelly Ana Morey - in 2014, Kelly Ana was awarded the Maori Writer’s Residency. The resulting novel, Daylight Second, she believes, is the first New Zealand literary novel about the racehorse Phar Lap. Daylight Second was published on the 1st of October 2016 by HarperCollins.

Eleanor Catton – this year Eleanor’s debut novel The Rehearsal was adapted for feature film, written by Emily Perkins and directed by Alison Maclean.  The world premiere of the film was held at the NZ International Film Festival in July and then it went to general release and is still screening. The cast includes Kerry Fox and James Rolleston and it has received wide-spread critical acclaim. 

A television adaptation of The Luminaries is currently in development.

Our hearty congratulations go to all our alumni for their achievements.


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