Rosetta Allan’s poetry has been published in many literary journals. She won first equal in the 2012 International Writers’ Workshop Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems and first equal Best Poetry at the 2011 Metonymy Exhibition, was highly commended in the 2012 Jocelyn Grattan Short Story Award, and received a place in the South Pacific Pictures Emerging Writers’ Lab for scriptwriting. To date, Allan has published two volumes of poetry. Her first novel is to be released by Penguin Random House in 2014.
Rosemary Anderson has a BSc from Canterbury University and is working on a Diploma in Creative Writing at Whitireia. She considers herself a flying Kiwi as she has spent much time overseas; Anderson lived in California for several years and is currently living in Brisbane with her husband. She enjoys exploring children’s literature, short fiction stories and, of course, poetry.
Emma Barnes lives in the Aro Valley in a house notable for its sunny disposition. For the past eight months she has been working on a series of poems about Sigourney Weaver, which at the time of writing numbers twenty-four-and-a-half poems long and counting. Barnes has more Sigourney Weaver poems in Hue & Cry 7 and the forthcoming issue of JAAM. You can also find her work in Landfall, Catalyst, Turbine, Snorkel, the New Zealand issue of Shenandoah and various other journals.
Miriam Barr was born in 1982, lives in Auckland and performs regularly with The Literatti. Her poems have appeared in Landfall, Takahe, Brief, Poetry New Zealand, JAAM, Blackmail Press, Enamel, Wild Goose Poetry Review (USA), Potroast and REM Magazine. The title for ‘The Things We Carried’ references Tim O’Brian’s novel, The Things They Carried.
In her own words, ‘the piece was written after weeks of playing a holiday game where at random intervals my husband would demand “tell me a story”. This got me thinking about the stories we carry. Scraps of the improvised fantasies found their way in.’
Tim Birks is a Wellington-born student of the Diploma in Creative Writing program at Whitireia, following a career as a health professional. His interests are film, politics, theatre and poetry, and he is currently living in Tokyo.
His poem in this collection speaks in the voice of Katherine Mansfield, addressing film director Ken Russell and actor Glenda Jackson about Russell’s 1969 film Women in Love, based on the D. H. Lawrence novel.
Jane Blaikie is a freelance writer and editor living in Wellington. Her stories and poems have been published locally and overseas.
About her two poems in this year’s 4th Floor Journal, she says, ‘These are a prosy, sideways look at society, at agri-business and consumerism, an attempt even to work out how to live in this not-so-brave new world.’
Michael Botur has been in all the New Zealand literary journals that matter. He released two short-story collections in 2013. He is blessed to be part of the Auckland poetry scene, which is seriously impressive right now (apart from the dreadful slam poetry).
The poem ‘Wet and Forget’ is about regrets. Regrets are a gold mine for serious writers.
James Brown’s latest book is Warm Auditorium.
Rachel Bush is a Nelson poet. Her most recent book of poems, Nice Pretty Things, was published in 2011. Her work has appeared in many New Zealand journals, including Sport, Landfall and The Listener. She has also been published in electronic journals such as 4th Floor and Turbine. The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature is the most recent anthology to include one of her poems.
Tessa Castree was born and raised in the Hutt Valley. She has spent her adult life in Wellington and is a social worker for the district health board. She began writing in 2011 with the Whitireia creative writing programme. 4th Floor published her story ‘Double Chocolate’ that year.
Megan Clayton is a writer and teacher from Sockburn, Christchurch. Her poems have appeared in Pasture and Enamel and as works-in-progress at Giovanni Tiso’s blog Bat, Bean, Beam. Megan maintains the 456 Euthymia blog and works at Lincoln University in the Foundation Studies and English Language Division. She has a PhD from the University of Canterbury, where she wrote about the poetry of Robin Hyde.
Navina Clemerson was born in the United Kingdom and is very happy to be living in New Zealand with her family. At various times, she studied biology, psychology and biblical Hebrew. She wrote and had published a short biography of prominent New Zealand social worker Marjorie Heads, entitled Removing the Stumbling Stone. More recently, she studied at Whitireia with Renee, Lynn Davidson and Hinemoana Baker. Her poems have been published in previous editions of 4th Floor.
Elizabeth Coleman is a new resident in Waikanae where she can be seen walking to the rhythm of words. She has had short stories placed in competitions and published in magazines. Her poems can be found in Dear to Me and Swings and Roundabouts: poems on parenthood. She has been published in 4th Floor, New Zealand Poetry Society Anthologies, Blackmail Press and Takahe.
Rose Collins completed an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University in 2010. She has had short stories published in Sport and Turbine and poetry in the New Zealand Poetry Society’s 2012 anthology, Building a Time Machine. She lives with her partner and three-year-old daughter on Banks Peninsula.
Her poem ‘Nothing Breaks’ was written in response to Michael Parekowhai’s sculptural installation in post-earthquake Christchurch titled On first looking into Chapman’s Homer.
Siobhan Collins is a Jungian psychoanalyst and poet who lives in Christchurch. She studied creative writing at Canterbury University and the Hagley Writers’ Institute. Her poetry is often written during the two months each year she spends on a boat travelling along the French canals. She takes particular delight in the fact that both she and her daughter have had work selected for this publication.
Janet Colson has an MA in English and American Literature from King’s College in London and became one of the United Kingdom’s leading arts fundraisers. She published a work of short fiction in 2010 and was a runner-up in the Whitireia Eat Your Words poetry competition. Her first piece for theatre will be produced later this year. In 2012, she completed the Whitireia Diploma in Creative Writing (Advanced) where she wrote her novel Found, a story of love and conflict set in the New York art world. This excerpt is taken from the first chapter.
Jeni Curtis teaches English at St Andrew’s College, Christchurch. She has a keen interest in Victorian literature and history. She is an active member of the Christchurch branch of the International Dickens Fellowship and editor of their magazine, Dickens Down Under. She completed a two-year course at the Hagley Writers’ Institute in 2012 and has published work in the Christchurch Press, Blackmail Press, International Literature Quarterly and Penduline, with a short story accepted for JAAM. She is on the organising committee for the Canterbury Poets’ Collective.
Natasha Dennerstein lives in Wellington and was born in Melbourne to a family originating in Belarus. She works as a psychiatric nurse. In 2011 she completed her MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. She is currently doing her MFA in Poetry at San Francisco State University.
Mary-Jane Duffy writes poems and essays. The sea laps at the bottom of her street, soon to carry off the ashes of the beloved dog, recently deceased. She is currently the arts columnist for Fishhead Magazine and continues to teach at Whitireia.
Nicola Easthope’s first collection of poetry, leaving my arms free to fly around you was published in 2011. In 2005, she won second place in the Bravado International Poetry Competition, and recently, one of her poems was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and another for the Caselberg Trust International Poetry Competition. Easthope performs her work in the Wellington region and was a guest poet at the Queensland Poetry Festival in 2012.
Rachael Elliott is a teacher studying towards her MA in Creative Writing at the University of Waikato. She has a passion for rhythm in language, dance and drumming. Elliott wants be the person her horse believes she is.
‘Head on Side’ was inspired by a gift from her mother and embodied chaos.
Justine Eldred is a Whitireia-trained writer. She loves to tell stories through dance theatre and words. Her first novel, The Crying Sea, will hopefully soon find its river of publishing. She is currently writing a children’s fantasy book in collaboration with artist Victoria Cassells, as well as choreographing a new dance theatre work, ‘When the Poet Dreamed an Angel’, with her community dance company Tangle.
Liz Elson studied creative writing at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology before moving to Wellington and completing her Diploma in Creative Writing at Whitireia in 2010. She has had a short story published in 4th Floor, a short story read on Radio NZ and won third prize in a competition organised by the Nelson branch of Romance Writers of New Zealand. Elson enjoys writing short stories and flash fiction.
Gill England is a long-time resident of Pukerua Bay and an English literature graduate who has worked in the public and education sectors – always in something to do with people and their careers. In her other life she sings, runs and blogs. It was the blog that recently morphed into a collection of poems, which come from a love of childhood places, memories of obsessive teenage love and a fascination with people that jump out of the sky. This is England’s first foray into sharing her writing.
Amber Esau is a New Zealand-born Samoan/Māori/Irish poet studying under Robert Sullivan in the creative writing programme at Manukau Institute of Technology. She comes from the village of Manase in Savai’i, Samoa, on her father’s side and is of Ngā Puhi and Kāi Tahu descent, as well as Galway Irish descent on her mother’s side. She has been published in the journals Ora Nui, Blackmail Press, Ika and Landfall.
Holly Jane Ewens is a writer and singing teacher who performs as one half of the indie-folk duo Rosy Tin Teacaddy. Since graduating with a Diploma in creative writing from Whitireia in 2010, she has been writing into and out of her manuscript; a collection of poems which re-stage and dissect the suicide of her partner. She lives in Paekākāriki, where she is busy trying to fit a word in edgewise with her new partner and a large blended family of five and a half children.
Peter Farrell was born in London in 1940 and immigrated to New Zealand in 1965. He studied creative writing with Fiona Kidman, has an advanced diploma in applied arts (creative writing) from Whitireia, and is a graduate of the Massey University Life Writing Course. He has contributed to a number of short story anthologies and journals including The Magpie Stole My Heart and has had work accepted by Radio New Zealand.
These two extracts come from his memoir, The Lie That Settles, which was published in September 2013.
Stan Galloway teaches English at Bridgewater College, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. He was nominated Best of the Net in 2011 and 2012. His chapbook Abraham is available online, as is A Bird’s Life, an e-chapbook from Books On Blog. His full collection, Just Married, was published in 2013. He has had more than one hundred poems published singly and has also written a book of literary criticism, The Teenage Tarzan.
‘Dance, Nora, Dance’ derives from offstage action in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House.
Laurice Gilbert is president of the New Zealand Poetry Society, with poems published in many New Zealand journals and anthologies, including Island (Australia), The Book of Ten (UK), Shot Glass Journal, Fib Review and Sugar Mule. She is the current Featured Poet International at Muse-Pie Press, and published her first collection, My Family and Other Strangers, in December 2012. She recently won second prize in the Caselberg International Poetry Competition and is currently working on a joint collection with Portuguese poet Hugo Kauri Justo.
Anahera Gildea, Ngāti Raukawa-ki-te-Tonga, has been known to put words on paper from time to time. She is currently finishing tertiary study at Victoria University and is determined to put pen to paper more often. It should be said that this is not her first attempt at time management, nor will it be her last. She was a student of the Whitireia writing course many years ago and holds that memory as one of her most influential and most important. Thank you, Whitireia, for encouraging me to be me.
Emma Gilkison is a Wellingtonian who works in communications, writes, has a large collection of Lonely Planet guides, is a lover of birds and unicorns, and enjoys watching light on water. This year she will finish her Bachelor in Applied Arts (Creative Non-Fiction) at Whitireia.
Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois is an American who was born in the Bronx, New York City, and now lives in Denver, Colorado. Hundreds of his poems, short stories and satirical columns have appeared in publications internationally, including Burningword Literary Magazine, which first published ‘What I Saw One Day’ in July 2013. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, most recently for his story ‘Purple Heart’ published in The Examined Life. He has also published a novel, Two-Headed Dog. Grabois yearns to visit New Zealand and is pleased that his words can lead the way.
Vaughan Gunson lives in Hikurangi, north of Whangarei. He has recently published two poetry collections: this hill, all it’s about is lifting it to a higher level and the ebook Big Love Songs.
Born in Invercargill the year Dylan Thomas died, Grace Kelly won an Oscar and the New Zealand High Commissioner to Niue was murdered, Rob Hack reflects on and writes about his Cook Islands heritage, about Niue, where he lived from 1956 to 1962, and about other places, people, ideas and things.
Mandy Hager is an award-winning Kāpiti-based writer. Her most recent book for young adults is Dear Vincent, a novel about painting, suicide and Vincent van Gogh. She also tutors the novel writing course at Whitireia. Hager was recently awarded the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship for 2014.
This extract is from her latest work-in–progress, ‘Singing Home the Whale’.
Helen Heath’s debut collection of poetry, Graft, was published in May 2012 by Victoria University Press to critical acclaim. Her poetry and essays have been published in many journals in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Her long poem sequence ‘Postcards’ from Graft was selected for Best New Zealand Poems 12. Graft was selected for the New Zealand Listener 100 best books of 2012 and won a Victoria University Postgraduate Research Excellence Award. Heath won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book for Poetry Award at the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards. Heath is currently working towards her PhD in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. Her PhD research project explores how science is represented in the work of post-war contemporary United Kingdom poets writing in the 1980s and 1990s.
Wai Ho wrote random bits of political text, columns and conference papers before discovering that fiction writing was much more fun. He entered the NZSA Asian Short Story Competition in 2012 and placed second. Every few years he dabbles in a poem or two. He has no other literary publishing history to speak of.
‘On a good day’ is about the proud fragilities of masculinity that the author is newly navigating through.
Chris Holdaway is a poet and linguist based in Auckland. Recent work appears in Otoliths, UP Literature and Minarets. Spare time is spent making evermore elaborate paper merkabas.
Anna Jackson lives in Island Bay and lectures at Victoria University. Her most recent collection of poetry is Thicket. At the moment she is writing poems from the point of view of Clodia Metelli, a Roman aristocrat from the first century BC, and the basis for the Lesbia of the love poems of Catullus.
Adrienne Jansen writes fiction and non-fiction for children and adults, and poetry. She teaches on the Whitireia creative writing programme and works as a writer at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Her most recent book is The Score, a novel.
Lynn Jenner has recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. ‘The hole’ is one investigation from her thesis ‘Everyday Life in the Ancient World’. A selection of Jenner’s recent poems has been published in Oxford Poets 2013. Her first book Dear Sweet Harry, published in 2010, won the New Zealand Society of Authors Jessie MacKay prize for Best First Book of Poetry, in 2011.
Michael Keith works in the somewhat obscure and specialised field of interpretive writing for visitor experience for places such as museums, exhibitions, historic sites and travelling displays. He has been writing poetry for about as long as his engagement with that field. Maybe there’s a connection.
Emelihter Kihleng wrote ‘Star Language’ for Mau Piailug, the celestial navigator from Satawal Atoll, Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), who died in 2010. Kihleng is from Pohnpei Island, also in the FSM, and is currently a PhD candidate in Pacific Studies at Victoria University. Her first collection of poetry, My Urohs, was published in 2008.
Kirsten Le Harivel is currently completing an MA at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. Her work has been published in Penduline Press, Blackmail Press and 4th Floor. She is also a member of the Conversations Across Borders project. Her childhood and ancestry connects her to Scotland, England and France and she lives on the Kāpiti Coast. This poem was inspired by the way Mazen Maarouf spoke about his experiences living in exile on ‘Mazen Maarouf: Hand Made’, part of the Poets of Protest documentary series, on Al Jazeera in September 2012.
Wes Lee is a poet and short-fiction writer based in Evans Bay, Wellington. She was the 2010 recipient of the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award. Her writing has recently been published by Riptide, Poetry London, Landfall, Magma, New Writing Dundee 7, The Sleepers Almanac, Going Down Swinging and Aesthetica Magazine’s Creative Works Annual 2013. Her short story collection Cowboy Genes will be published by Grist Publishing at the University of Huddersfield in March 2014.
Judith Lofley has written several short stories for adults and children. Some of these have been placed in competition or appeared in anthologies. An earlier version of ‘Yesterday’s News’, which was runner-up in a competition, is the genesis for a recently completed novel. Lofley is currently writing a political crime thriller, which includes themes that may disturb some politicians. Her paid work includes writing and editing technical documents and manuals. She lives on the Kāpiti Coast and has two children.
Larree Lust lives in the Horowhenua and works part-time as a postie. She has studied creative writing at Whitireia and at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. In 2010, she was a recipient of a Māori Literature Te Papa Tupu award for a first novel manuscript. She has had short stories published in Takahe and Huia. This excerpt is from a work-in-progress second novel entitled Follow Me.
Kate Mahony is a Wellington writer of Irish descent (her father dropped the ‘O’ from O’Mahony on the ship heading to New Zealand). She has an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. She has had stories published in a number of literary publications including Best New Zealand Fiction Vol. 6, Turbine, Takahe, International Literary Quarterly, Blackmail Press, and Blue Fifth Review. She teaches short story writing at the Community Education Centre in Wellington.
Tina Makereti teaches and mentors at a range of tertiary institutes, including Whitireia. She has an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. Her short story collection, Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa, won the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards Fiction Prize in 2011. In 2009 she was the recipient of the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing (non-fiction), and in the same year received the Pikihuia Award for Best Short Story Written in English. Her novel, Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings, will be published by Penguin Random House in early 2014.
Lucy Marsden is a retired librarian and archivist living in Palmerston North, who took up writing as a way to keep the brain going. She is a member of two creative writing groups, her poems have appeared in The Tribune and in the U3A Manawatu publication Square Dance (2010) and she won first equal in the 2010 competition, Poetry on Palmy. Marsden’s favourite poets are Allen Curnow and Philip Larkin. She also enjoys writing very short fiction and has published several historical articles in the Manawatu Journal of History.
Frankie McMillan is the author of The Bag Lady’s Picnic and Other Stories and a poetry collection, Dressing for the Cannibals. Recent poetry has appeared in Turbine, Snorkel, Sport, The London Grip, Shenandoah and Best NZ poems 12. At present she is working on another collection of short stories. McMillan teaches creative writing at the Hagley Writers’ Institute in Christchurch.
Robert Morris was born in Cornwall. He pursued his enthusiasm for radio and dreams of travel by becoming a radio officer in the Merchant Navy. He then spent eleven years in television broadcasting. In the early 1970s he moved with his family to New Zealand, eventually spending twenty-seven years lecturing in electronics. Morris has enjoyed writing since his early school days and completion of writing modules at Whitireia stimulated this interest and led to publication. He has had work broadcast by Radio New Zealand and been commended for a submission to the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award competition.
Heidi North-Bailey is a writer from Auckland. In 2007 she won the Irish Féile Filíochta International Poetry Competition and has recently finished her first poetry collection, Things I wanted to tell you, which she now hopes to get published. She is currently completing an MA in Scriptwriting and Directing for Film at Auckland University.
Claire Orchard grew up in the Hutt Valley and now lives with her family in Wellington. She has a BA in English from Massey University and is currently completing an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. Her writing has been published in Penduline Press and the 2012 Eat Your Words anthology, and she has work appearing in the upcoming issue of JAAM.
A past student of the Whitireia creative writing programme, Connie Palmer is proud to add the words ‘writer and performance poet’ to her CV. She admits that now she is teaching in a busy Porirua college, a lot of her creative energy is taken up by inspiring others. However, she has never lost the excitement for words and says of her poetry: ‘I want my poems to be shafts of light in a thunderstorm of words.’
Richard King Perkins II lives in Crystal Lake, Illinois, where he is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife, Vickie, and a daughter, Sage. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Prime Mincer, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Fox Cry, Two Thirds North and The Red Cedar Review. He has work forthcoming in Bluestem, Poetry Salzburg Review and The William and Mary Review.
Karen Peterson Butterworth’s poetry and prose has appeared in journals and anthologies in seven countries. She has published seven books as writer or editor: most recently, as co-editor with Nola Borrell, the taste of nashi: New Zealand Haiku. Peterson Butterworth’s was born in the Catlins, South Otago, and now lives in Ōtaki. Themes for her writing come to her while observing human behaviour and gazing at the sunlit leaves of trees she has planted.
Maggie Rainey-Smith, novelist, poet, blogger, book reviewer and short-story writer. Two novels published by Random House, 2005, 2007, and third novel at final edit stage. Current chair of the Wellington branch of New Zealand Society of Authors, membership officer for Friends of the Randell Cottage Trust, and on the Wellington Writer’s Walk committee. Writer, wife, lover, mother, grandmother.
James D Reed has worked as a graphic designer, copywriter, art director, carpenter, paper mill-hand and pole barn builder. He holds a BFA from Miami University, Ohio. Reed has enjoyed extensive travels in Europe and across North America, the latter in a string of gasping, puttering VW campers, and is using these experiences as the basis of his fiction. His stories have appeared in The Nebraska Review, Midwestern Gothic and Perceptions Magazine of the Arts (among others) and have been accepted in several fiction anthologies including, most recently, Nazar Look Back, published in Romania. Reed and his wife live in a recently renovated (formerly dilapidated) farmhouse on ten acres of woods near Oxford, Ohio. A nice, quiet place to write full-time.
Helen Rickerby is a poet from Wellington, where she works as a web editor. In what’s left of her time she also publishes books as Seraph Press and is co-managing editor of JAAM. She has published two collections of poetry, My Iron Spine and Abstract Internal Furniture, and a hand-bound chapbook Heading North. Her latest collection, Cinema, will be published in 2014. She’s a Whitireia alumnus, having gained a Diploma in Publishing in 2000.
Miriam Sagan is the author of twenty-five books of poetry, fiction, and memoir. Most recent is SEVEN PLACES IN AMERICA: A Poetic Sojourn. The poem was written in New Orleans a few years after Katrina – when devastation was still evident – and is for her husband.
Sandi Sartorelli (also known as Abra Cadabra) is a Pākehā of Danish, English, Irish and Moravian descent. She lives in the Hutt Valley and is a recent graduate of the Whitireia creative writing programme. During 2013 one of her poems was highly commended in the Caselberg Trust International Poetry Competition, and other work has appeared in Blackmail Press, JAAM, Penduline Press, Renée’s WednesdayBusk and Shenandoah.
Hannah Schenker is relatively new to the publishing world. She has had a piece of short prose published in 4th Floor in 2012 and a poem published in Snorkel. This year all her energy is being channelled into writing a novel for the Diploma in Creative Writing (Advanced). Writing continues to be a source of ecstasy and agony in her daily life.
Kerrin P Sharpe is a poet and teacher of creative writing. She completed the Victoria University original composition programme, taught by Bill Manhire, in 1976. As well as various literary journals, her work features in Best New Zealand Poems 08, 09, 10 and 12, as well as in the Best of Best New Zealand Poems. Her debut poetry collection, three days in a wishing well, was published by Victoria University Press in 2012. A selection of her poems have appeared in Oxford Poets 2013 from Carcanet Press.
Lorraine Singh completed a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing at Whitireia in 2009. Her tutors were Lynn Davidson and Hinemoana Baker. Singh has had poems published in 4th Floor (2007, 2009 and 2010) and The Rebel Issue of Blackmail Press (2009). She has also been published in the Paekakariki Xpress (2007) and the Wellington Sonnet competition (Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, 2008).
Marty Smith lives in Hawke’s Bay now, but grew up on her family farm in a fairly remote part of north Wairarapa. Despite living on the same farm, her father never spoke to her grandmother in her living memory and their feud is the subject of quite a few poems in her first collection, Horse with hat, which will be published by Victoria University Press in 2014.
Vivienne R Smith wasted her youth on academic pursuits and bureaucracy while recognising that the creativity in words was more important than the paper being shuffled. She loved the creative writing course at the Hagley Writers’ Institute, with her passionate and inspiring tutors Kerrin P Sharpe and Frankie McMillan, where she was awarded the Margaret Mahy second-year portfolio prize. Smith is undertaking an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. She has had work published in Takahe, Blackmail Press, Deep South and Junctures: The Journal for Thematic Dialogue.
Elizabeth Smither’s latest publications include The Commonplace Book: A Writer’s Journey Through Quotations, a journal published by Auckland University Press in 2011, and The Sea Question, with photographer Jane Dove Juneau, published by South Pacific Light Press in 2010. Her latest collection of poems, The Blue Coat, was published in April this year by Auckland University Press.
Robert Stratford works part-time and divides his other moments between family, writing, reading, the outdoors, Buddhist meditation and disrupting the status quo. Stratford has published poetry in previous editions of 4th Floor as well as anthologies of the New Zealand Poetry Society. He is currently investigating a literary attack on neo-liberalism and is making slow progress on a PhD about education for sustainability.
His poetry draws on a variety of contexts including Star Wars, nature, travel and the comical anguish of everyday existence.
Alice Te Punga Somerville (Te Ātiawa) is a poet, scholar and irredentist. Her relatives were in the region before the city of Wellington arrived and she was raised in Auckland; she believes this makes her ‘urban Māori’ both ways. She studied in Aotearoa and the United States of America, and taught in Aotearoa (Victoria University) for several years before moving recently to become Associate Professor of Pacific Literatures at the University of Hawai‘i – Mānoa. She usually writes scholarship – her first academic book was Once Were Pacific: Māori connections to Oceania – but she enjoys writing the occasional poem.
Teresia Teaiwa is of mixed heritage, with Banaban, African American and I-Kiribati ancestry, born in Hawaiʻi and raised in Fiji. She currently lives and works in Wellington where she teaches Pacific studies at Victoria University. Her poetry was recently featured in the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial at the Queensland Art Gallery, and she was invited to participate in Poetry Parnassus, a gathering of over two hundred of the world’s poets as part of the 2012 London Olympiad.
Jo Thorpe was born in Wellington in 1948 and is the author of two books of poetry, in/let and Len & other poems. She is a lecturer in dance history at the New Zealand School of Dance and Drama and performs with the Crows Feet Dance Collective. Thorpe graduated from the Whitireia creative writing programme in 1998 with an MA in creative writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University, 2001. Her poem ‘This lovely hand of yours’ was published in New Zealand Books in 2013. Thorpe and her architect partner divide their time between Wellington and Cape Palliser.
Alys Titchener resides on the Kāpiti Coast. She graduated in anthropology, and then trained as a librarian and is now studying creative writing either at Whitireia or Victoria University, depending on her mood. Titchener started a poetry blog some years ago, SoulPressedPoetry, and will one day work out what she wants to do with it.
Rachel Tobin has lived in New Zealand since she was nine; her ancestors lived in Ireland, England and France. For the past fifteen years she has made her home in Wellington and has recently moved to the Kāpiti Coast. Tobin took part in James Brown’s poetry workshop at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University in 2012, and one of her poems won first prize in the New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition the same year. She writes because of a deep enjoyment of words and their power to move, inspire and invite new ways of seeing.
Sian Torrington makes art, poetry and performance. Based in Wellington, she works using a method of experiment and process-based making. She practises activism through making things with openness, vulnerability and passion, which add up to many things, including queer-femme pride and visibility. She comes from a long line of self-created glamour queens, gold- and beauty-obsessed adventurers, city builders, risk takers, stubborn visionaries, queers, storytellers, psychics and survivors. Torrington has until recently described herself as an artist who writes but is currently coming out of the closet as a writer.
These poems were part of Caves are made of rock, but not this cave, a collaborative art and poetry project in 2012 at Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin with Rachel O’Neill and Joan Fleming. The show explored intimacy and sexuality as a hidden space that required excavating to discover and release it.
Anny Trolove grew up by the foothills in the Waimakariri district. She enjoys writing as a means where she feels both safe and powerful. Her tenets for her practice are: make and share. She initiated a Summer Season of Poetry in Nelson in 2011/2012 (fresh poem perched in a public window, daily) and a 2013 Winter Season of Poetry in Christchurch, called This Winter, Worded.
Meg Tuite’s writing has appeared in numerous journals including Mad Hatters’ Review, Epiphany, JMWW, One, The Journal, Monkeybicycle and Boston Literary Magazine. She has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize. She is the fiction editor of Santa Fe Literary Review and Connotation Press. She is the author of Domestic Apparition, Disparate Pathos, Reverberations, Bound By Blue, Pushpin a Point on a Map Until a Family Cracks Through and won the Twin Antlers Prize for Collaborative Poetry from Artistically Declined Press for her poetry collection, Bare Bulbs Swinging, written with Heather Fowler and Michelle Reale. She teaches at the Santa Fe Community College.
Gill Ward lives on the Kāpiti Coast. Her poetry, scripts and short stories have appeared in anthologies, magazines, literary publications and on National Radio. Now retired from teaching, Gill writes an online poetry column for the Kāpiti Independent News and leads a U3A course on contemporary New Zealand poetry. She also organises the Kāpiti poetry cafe monthly event Poets to the People. Her collection Poetic Explanations was published in 2011.
Mercedes Webb-Pullman started writing because she hates knitting, and graduated from Victoria University Wellington with her MA in Creative Writing in 2011. Her poems, and the odd short story, have appeared online and in print. She lives on the Kāpiti coast.
Loveday Why is studying for a PhD in Contemporary Poetry and Poetics at the University of Otago. Her poetry and articles have appeared in journals in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and New Zealand. Her chapbook Chillida and the Sound was published in 2012. She co-runs a native regeneration service dedicated to planting the coast and wetlands of Otago.
Why’s poem ‘Return’ is part of a sequence about her grandparents, reunited after the war, when it had done what it did to everyone.
Charlotte Yates is an award-winning recording artist based in Wellington and the director/producer of the Baxter, Tuwhare and Ihimaera albums and concerts. She has also produced the documentary Ihimaera for Māori Television. Yates has worked as a part-time contract songwriting tutor/mentor in the music department of Whitireia since 2009.
The two songs whose lyrics feature in 4th Floor, ‘I Will’ and ‘Dreams Are Like Sand’, were released in 2013 on Yates’s new album Archipelago. ‘Love and Squalor’ comes from the title of JD Salinger’s short story collection For Esme – with Love and Squalor and Other Stories.