Pip Aanensen

Currently situated under the watchful gaze of Mount Te Aroha, set in amongst the Kaimai ranges, Eastern Waikato. Philip (Pip) Aanensen has been writing poetry steadily since 2005. At Whitireia in 2007, he was quietly persuaded to break from his comfort zone of rhyme.

Tusiata Avia

Tusiata is a writer and performer of Samoan and Palagi descent. She studied Creative Writing at Whitireia in 2001, completed her MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University in 2002, and in 2004 Victoria University Press published her first collection of poetry, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt. Her second, Bloodclot, will be published in 2009.

genevieve de spa

For over a decade, writing appealed to gen. However, while the ideas were compelling, the act itself was not. Now writing has taken the dickey seat to ambulance work, but the ideas haven't stopped and gen quite fancies completing her creative writing and paramedic degrees concurrently.

Nicola Easthope

Nicola Easthope is a mother, environmental educator, teacher and poet, who lives on the Kapiti Coast. She has had poetry published in Takahe, Landfall, Poetry NZ, NZ Poetry Society anthologies, 4th Floor (2006), The Red Wheelbarrow (UK), the Guardian Unlimited (now the guardian.co.uk) and The Great American Poetry Show. She won second prize in the Bravado International Poetry Competition in 2005.

Anahera Gildea

Anahera Gildea (Ngāti Raukawa-ki-te-Tonga) has had her short stories and poetry published in several collections and was the winner of the 2007 Pikihuia Awards for Best Novel Extract. She is currently working on completion of her first novel, multiple theatre projects and wrangling her three year old son.

Rob Hack

Rob Hack is in the third year of a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree at Whitireia Polytechnic. Currently he is writing a collection of poems that acknowledge his Cook Island mother, his Kiwi father and his early life on Niue.

Helen Heath

Helen has studied undergraduate writing at Victoria University’s Institute of Modern Letters. She has been published in Poetry NZ, Turbine, Glottis, JAAM and 4th Floor. She has a background in book-selling, publishing and literary events management. Helen lives with her partner and two kids in Paekākāriki on the Kapiti Coast and blogs here.

Vivienne Hill

Vivienne Hill is a student in her third year of study at Whitireia, and is majoring in poetry. She has a background in publishing and working on other people’s creative projects. Over the last eighteen months Vivienne has been working on her own creative project – a collection of poems.

Lynn Jenner

Lynn studied poetry at Whitireia in 2004 and 2007. She believes the atmosphere, teaching, students and mentors that form the Whitireia Creative Writing experience make it something to be very proud of. Lynn lives on the Kapiti Coast. In 2008 she is completing a Masters in Creative Writing at Victoria University.

Kevin Johnston

Kevin Johnston is living in Auckland city, a silent visitor in other people’s days, an anonymous biographer. ‘road walked across by cat’ is about observers and the observed: what really goes on behind the eyes, the words?

Helen Lehndorf

Helen Lehndorf is a writer and writing teacher living in Palmerston North. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies, most recently Kaupapa (eds Hinemoana Baker and Maria McMillan) and Swings and Roundabouts (ed Emma Neale). She has had work produced on Radio New Zealand National and feature writing published in the Dominion Post.

Cushla Managh

Cushla Managh lives in Wainuiomata with her partner and four children, juggling fulltime work and part-time study. One of Cushla’s poems was included in an anthology of poems on parenthood, Swings & Roundabouts, published by Random House in 2008. She dreams of having more time to write.

Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson grew up in a small coastal town in South Auckland. He has studied geography, worked as a software developer and practised writing at Victoria University and Whitireia Polytechnic. He now writes poetry in the early mornings before anyone wakes up.

Mikaela Nyman

Mikaela Nyman was born in Finland and is a Wellington prose writer and mother of baby twins. Recently she has discovered the challenges of short stories and poetry. She has had a biography, newspaper articles and research on civil society and democratisation published.

Samiha Radcliffe

Samiha wrote both of these poems in 2007 as a first year diploma student at Whitireia, majoring in creative writing. They also formed part of Samiha’s successful application for the 2008 Masters programme at the International Institute of Modern Letters. Samiha currently lives in Raumati South on Wellington's Kapiti Coast.

Kyla-Jayne Rajah

Having recently completed a BA in English Language and Literature, Kyla-Jayne Rajah is currently writing a novel for intermediate-school readers. She enjoys writing poetry, prose, and using her imagination. This is her first poem published in a literary journal, and she is grateful for the encouragement that the Writing Programme extends to its students.


Raschel-Miette (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Pākehā) lives in Gisborne, although she is seldom ever first to see the sun. She is mother to the gorgeous Nitha Buttercup and no longer views her lush imagination as a curse, but laments that she doesn’t have more tattoos. Or a million dollars.

Anna Stevens

I am a teacher of English, mother of three large, lovely sons and an aspiring writer. I have always written poems and enjoyed the discipline of the Whitireia Poetry paper. I live in New Plymouth now but also identify with Nelson, Raumati Beach and Napier – middle New Zealand. I am currently teaching part-time and working on two novels for teenagers.

Simon Todd

I arrived in Wellington on one of its famous raining days nearly two years ago. I came hoping to establish myself as a writer. I completed the one-year course in creative writing at Whitireia and eight months later I released my self-published book the fifth seal which features ‘Granma’.

Shelley Vernon

Until the 2007 Whitireia Poetry module, reading and writing poetry perplexed Shelley as would a sausage with sideburns. She's grateful to Hinemoana Baker and fellow writers for stretching and challenging her literary limits. Shelley still writes and has integrated poetry into her myriad modes of self-expression and spirited lunacy.

Iona Woodward

Iona lives in Wellington and loves it. In the 1990s, she edited three anthologies for the NZ Poetry Society, and dabbled in film making and scripting comics. Now she spends most of her spare time writing short stories and participating in a web-based writers' community.