Jan Bolwell is a performer, choreographer, playwright and dance educator. In 2010 she completed a postgraduate course in creative non-fiction writing at Whitireia during which she wrote the first draft of a dance memoir. Her third play, ‘Double Portrait: Finding Frances Hodgkins’, has been touring New Zealand for the past two years. Jan is director of Crows Feet Dance Collective, Wellington’s unique company for mature performers. Currently Jan is writing a new play, ‘Rainbow Dancer’, about the life of Lucia Joyce, who was the dancing daughter of the writer James Joyce.
James Brown’s four poetry collections are all published by Victoria University Press. He is the author behind a useful non-fiction booklet called Instructions for Poetry Readings and, in 2005, edited The Nature of Things: Poems from the New Zealand Landscape. These poems are from a new collection to be published in 2012.
Rachel Bush lives in Nelson. She has worked in community education and as a teacher. Her work has appeared in periodicals including Sport, Landfall and Faber’s Introduction. Her next book of poetry, Nice Pretty Things and others, will be published by Victoria University Press in November.
Mary Cresswell is a poet and science editor. Born in Los Angeles, she moved to New Zealand in 1970 and was a student on the Whitireia writing programme in 1998. She lives on the Kāpiti Coast and has published work in a wide variety of journals, mainly in the United States and New Zealand. Her latest book, Trace Fossils, was published by Steele Roberts in 2011.
Natasha Dennerstein was born in Melbourne into a Russian/Polish Australian family and now lives in Wellington. She has spent many years working as a psychiatric nurse. She is currently writing poetry for her MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University.
Mary-Jane Duffy writes poetry and essays, and currently teaches poetry at Whitireia. She has a background in curating and art administration. Her recent projects include All the Cunning Stunts, the lightbox project in Courtenay Place, and You Say Tomato at Toi Poneke.
Nicola Easthope’s ancestral roots lie in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, England and Wales. She lives, works and plays on the Kāpiti Coast, with her partner and young daughter. Her poetry has appeared in various publications in Aotearoa and overseas. In 2005, she won second prize in the Bravado International Poetry Competition, and she was a finalist in the recent Ocean:Views competition held by the World Wildlife Fund. Nicola’s first collection of poetry, Leaving my arms free to fly around you, has recently been published by Steele Roberts (October 2011).
Holly Jane Ewens lives by the sea in the village of Paekākāriki. She balances the demands of family life with vocal and songwriting tuition and is one half of the Wellington alt-folk duo Rosy Tin Teacaddy. She also writes poetry. Since completing her Diploma in Creative Writing at Whitireia in 2009, she has been twisting and pulling a collection that restages the events surrounding her partner’s suicide in 2003.
Peter Farrell arrived in Taumarunui from London in 1965, moving to Wellington three years later. He worked in a range of public service roles and was part of the management team that set up Te Papa. A graduate of the Whitireia applied arts programme, Peter is now writing more or less full-time. He has had work accepted by Radio New Zealand and has been commended in the Katherine Mansfield Award. He is currently working on a memoir based on his search for his father.
Anahera Gildea (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga) currently resides in Wellington with her partner and their six-year-old son. She has a tendency to overcommit, which The Free Dictionary online defines as someone who ‘binds or obligates themselves beyond the capacity for realization’. It appears the rumour that one can break a habit in a mere twenty-one days is a fallacy. Anahera sometimes writes and always, always loves it.
Born in Invercargill the year Stalin died to a Rarotongan mother and Kiwi father, Rob Hack the ex-builder is continuing to investigate his Polynesian heritage. Currently he is compiling a collection of poems about family and his early years on Niue and the Cook Islands of Mauke, Manihiki and Rarotonga. This year he is lucky enough to be studying at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University, working with poet Bernadette Hall.
Helen Heath lives in the seaside village of Paekākāriki, on the Kāpiti Coast. She is the author of Graft, a book of poetry, due out in 2012 from Victoria University Press. In 2009 she completed an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. Her poetry has been published in many journals in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. She has also had a chap-book of poems published by Seraph Press, Wellington, called Watching for Smoke (2009). Helen blogs at http://www.helenheath.com.
Adrienne Jansen teaches short fiction and editing on the Whitireia writing programme. She is also part of the writing team at Te Papa and does some freelance work. She has published two novels, a collection of poetry and several non-fiction books.
Helen Lehndorf is a writer and writing teacher. Her work has been published in literary journals, including Sport, Landfall and Hue & Cry, in anthologies and in The Dominion Post and produced on Radio New Zealand. Her first poetry book, The Comforter, will be published in late 2011 with Seraph Press, Wellington.
Libby List completed the first draft of her novel at Whitireia back in 2005. Since then she’s been regularly attending a writers’ group (which includes several students from that course), penning the odd short story, revisiting her previous novel and getting excited over a new one. ‘Knowing’ is an extract from the one-to-come.
Cushla Managh is a journalist currently working in communications. She is also a student on the Whitireia writing programme and has had several poems and short stories published. She lives in Upper Hutt with four rambunctious children and dreams of spending her days reading and writing, and never doing housework.
L C McCahon was born in Christchurch in 1981, now lives in Wellington, and has studied theatre, acting, literature, gender studies, religious studies, classical studies and psychology. Having worked in a supermarket delicatessen and a fast-food restaurant kitchen, and as an artist’s model, L C likes writing because, instead of just training and working in one subject, one can research and write about all of them. L C enjoys learning about ideas on the margins of our culture’s awareness.
John McLister was born in Scotland. He immigrated to New Zealand when he was four and grew up in the port town of Lyttelton. After leaving school, he worked as a labourer and wharfie. For the last twenty years, he has lived in Japan. John is currently enrolled in the Whitireia writing programme online. His interests range from Japanese short form poetry to rugby scrummaging techniques.
Rewa Morgan (Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Hine, Pākehā) recently achieved a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Auckland. She currently resides on the Kāpiti Coast and is considering her Masters. One of her favourite things is storytelling. She attributes this passion to her mother Heneti who told her a story every night before bed.
Bill Nelson lives on Cuba Street in Wellington City. He completed an Advanced Diploma in Creative Writing at Whitireia in 2008 and an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University in 2009, where he was awarded the Biggs Poetry Prize. ‘On Hold’ and ‘Vocal’ are part of a poetry manuscript he is currently working on that explores the voice and acts of ventriloquism.
Mikaela Nyman is a Wellington-based writer born in Finland. She is currently completing an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. Paper Town will form her MA thesis. She has had short stories and poetry published in Lumiére Arts Reader, Blackmail Press, JAAM and 4th Floor, and has written a biography set in Belgian Congo based on Hildegard Mangelus’ life, Tankar (Abacus, 1995). In 2007 she completed the Whitireia advanced short fiction and poetry courses online with Lynn Davidson.
Vivienne Plumb writes poetry, drama and fiction and has won awards in all three fields. Her most recent poetry collection, crumple, was published in 2010. Her new poetry chap-book, The Cheese and Onion Sandwich and other New Zealand Icons, is to be released before Christmas, 2011. Her play ‘The Cape’ has been recently translated into Polish.
Samiha completed a BA in English Literature at Victoria University in 2006 and a Diploma in Creative Writing at Whitireia in 2007. In 2008 she completed an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University.
Maggie Rainey-Smith is a writer and poet who lives on the zigzag in the bush in Days Bay. She has her own blog, http://acurioushalfhour.wordpress.com/, and website, www.maggieraineysmith.com, and is proud to be part of 4th Floor journal.
Long-time Kāpiti Coast resident Tina Regtien has spent twenty-four years as an actor, several as a teacher, ten as a parent and many more as a student of writing. She started this journey with Whitireia back in 2001 and has also studied poetry through the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. The poems included in this year’s 4th Floor were written at the IIML while studying Writing the Landscape with Dinah Hawken.
Jon Saunders has always wanted to write but never made it a priority until fairly recently. Having moved to Wellington from London seven years ago, he feels like he’s adjusted pretty well, although, to him at least, potato-based snacks will forever be crisps. He lives in Johnsonville and spends a significant amount of his spare time mediating in bulldozer-, digger- and Duplo-related disputes between the junior members of his household.
Rachel Sawaya lives in Wellington. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali from 2004 to 2006 and is currently completing an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. She has been published by Radio New Zealand and recently won the nationwide Ocean:Views competition held by the World Wildlife Fund. Her blog can be found at http://lastlittlebird.blogspot.com/.
Lorraine Singh completed a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing at Whitireia in 2009, where she was tutored by Lynn Davidson and Hinemoana Baker. Lorraine’s poems have been published online in 4th Floor (2007, 2009, 2010), by Blackmail Press in Number 25 The Rebel Issue (2009), in the Paekakariki Xpress (2007) and in the Wellington Sonnet competition (Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop 2008).
Elizabeth Smither’s most recent publications are a novel, Lola (Penguin, 2010) and a writer’s journal, The commonplace book; a writer’s journey through quotations (Auckland University Press, 2011). She has also collaborated with photographer Jane Dove Juneau on a collection of poems and photographs, The sea question (South Pacific Light Press, 2010).
Robert Stratford works part-time in the public service and divides his other time between writing, family and the outdoors. Robert published three poems in the 2010 edition of 4th Floor and has previously published poetry in anthologies of the New Zealand Poetry Society.
Mercedes Webb-Pullman gained a Diploma in Creative Writing from Whitireia in 2009, with Lynn Davidson as her poetry tutor. She completed her MA at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University in 2010, with Chris Price. Her poems have appeared in Turbine, 4th Floor and various online journals. Mercedes reads at open mics whenever possible.