News 2017

Alumni Catch-up

26 May 2017

Since Ian Wedde held the University of Auckland/MKWC Residency in 2009, he has gone on to be awarded an ONZM in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in 2011 was made New Zealand Poet Laureate. He was awarded the Creative New Zealand Writer’s Residency in Berlin in 2013–14, and in 2014 received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement (poetry).

Ian’s latest book, Selected Poems, has just been published. This impressive collection of poetry shows the prolific nature of one of New Zealand’s favourite poets, ranging over four decades. This is the largest collection of Ian’s poems to date. The book’s cover and internals feature original art by famed New Zealand artist, John Reynolds.

Elspeth Sandys, who held the autumn Residency last year, has produced her ninth novel,
Obsession. The title refers to both several intense relationships in the book, and also the obsession that goes into writing for a living. Listen to an interview with Elspeth about the book and about a writer’s obsession with writing…
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/standing-room-only/audio/201836315/novelist-elspeth-sandys'-magnificent-obsession

Paolo Rotondo was awarded the NZSA/Auckland Museum 2015 Research Grant. Paolo said
‘This amazing opportunity allowed me to garner a breadth of invaluable historical research at the Auckland Museum Library. At the Michael King Writer’s Centre I was able to consolidate and work through the historical material and generate another draft’.

Two years in the making, Kororāreka combines the storytelling skill of Paolo Rotondo and the
theatrical flair of Red Leap (The Arrival, Dust Pilgrim), led with the astute eye of Artistic Director Julie Nolan.

Starting with my mother, this story is a fictionalised homage to the strength, power, toughness, resilience and wit that exists in the character of the New Zealand woman.  I do not believe that Kate Sheppard, Helen Clarke, Lorde or Eleanor Catton, are exceptions to the rule, in fact, they are a product of a long line of powerful women.” – Paolo Rotondo, Playwright.

Delving into the lawless outpost of 1800s Russell, Kororāreka - The Ballad of Maggie Flynn introduces a heroine created from the rich and vibrant true stories of New Zealand women.

Red Leap Theatre premiere their brand-new work from 9 – 17 June at Q Theatre, Auckland before touring to three centres in Northland from 19-24 June, in a celebration of the resilient and hard-working characters buried in the kiwi whakapapa.  

In 2012 Te Awhina Arahanga held the Māori writer's residency at the Michael King Writer's Centre. One of her residency projects was to research the social history of fish and chips. The resulting book is to be called Two Fish and a Scoop: A Social History of Fish and Chips in New Zealand. Listen to an interview with Jesse Mulligan about the progress of the project....  http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/201837426/two-fish-and-a-scoop-a-social-history

Tracy Farr is a writer and former research scientist who grew up in Perth, Western Australia. She left Australia in 1991; since then she’s lived and worked in Canada and, for the past twenty years, New Zealand. She lives in Wellington. Tracy has been a visiting writer at the Michael King Writers’ Centre. Her second novel, The Hope Fault, was published (Australia/NZ) in March, and will be published by Aardvark Bureau (UK) in 2018.

The Hope Fault is a celebration of the complexities of family: aunties and steps and exes; parents and partners who are missing, and the people who replace them. It’s about life’s fault lines, and the unsettling certainty of uncertainty.