Anne Kennedy, who holds the 2014 University of Auckland residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre, is a poet, fiction writer and scriptwriter. She holds the residency to work on a new novel.
Her previous novel The Last Days of the National Costume, published by Allen & Unwin in 2013, reached number one on the New Zealand bestseller list and is a finalist in the Fiction category of the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2014.
Kennedy has won many of New Zealand’s top writing awards. Her latest collection of poetry The Darling North, published by Auckland University Press in 2012, won the poetry category of the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards. In 2013 she won The Nigel Cox Unity Books Award.
She first came to prominence as a writer when she won the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award in 1983. Her novella, Musica Ficta, was published in 1993. The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature says it ‘plays ingeniously between music and language, between the medieval and the modern’ and ‘is constructed of short, apparently discontinuous fragments, using multiple points of view, some in verse, some with the lyric intensity of haiku, often dependent on wordplay […] Places, possessions and colours feature strongly as people try to make sense of memory and create connectedness.’
She was the University of Auckland Literary Fellow in 1995 when she wrote a novel, A Boy and His Uncle (Picador, 1998). She has also had a long career in film, and wrote the screenplay for the film Monkey’s Mask, from the verse novel by Dorothy Porter.
Her first volume of poetry, Sing-Song (Auckland University Press, 2003) received the Montana Award for Poetry at the 2004 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
The Time of the Giants is Kennedy’s second sequence of poems (Auckland University Press, 2005), a fantastical tale that includes gentle satire on contemporary manners. It was nominated in the 2006 shortlist for the Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
Anne Kennedy spent most of the decade from 2003 to 2013 in Honolulu, where she taught fiction and screenwriting at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She teaches fiction at the Creative Writing Programme at the Manukau Institute of Technology.