Author of six novels and five collections of poetry, Emma works as an editor and occasional creative writing tutor. She was raised in New Zealand, lived for several years in California as a child, and as an adult lived in England for just under a decade. There she gained her MA and PhD from University College London.
Emma has received the Todd/Creative New Zealand New Writer’s Bursary and the inaugural Janet Frame/NZSA Memorial Prize for Literature. Her novel Fosterling (2011) was short-listed for the youth category of the Sir Julius Vogel Award. Her poetry collection The Truth Garden won the Kathleen Grattan Award in 2011. She has been a University of Otago Burns Fellow, a University of Otago/Sir James Wallace Pah Homestead Fellow and a recipient of the Beatson/NZSA Fellowship. Her poetry was short-listed for the Sarah Broom Poetry award in 2014, and her fifth collection, Tender Machines, was long-listed in the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Her most recent novel, Billy Bird (2016) was short-listed in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award 2018. She currently edits Landfall. A new collection, To the Occupant, is due out from Otago University Press in 2019. She lives in Dunedin with her husband and their two children.
During her residency, the 12th for the year, Emma will be working on a new novel. This novel, largely social realist, also touches the hem of science fiction, as it’s set a little more than a decade into the future. It imagines medical advances that enable an international research team to explore human male pregnancy, a development which experts think is still decades away.