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New Zealand Writers at Birkbeck College





Friday 8th July, 6 p.m. Clore Building B01 (entrance onto Torrington Square)



Emeritus Professor Andrew Sharp

8th and 9th JULY 2011


Special rights for Maori in New Zealand since 1980”

Professor Andrew Sharp will discuss the reasoning behind the expansion of Maori rights to property, political power, and group expression in the last thirty years. He will reflect on what this could teach the British and Irish about the potential of a way of thinking that originated with them.


Andrew Sharp’ s main interests are the history of political argument and political philosophy, particularly in England and New Zealand. He has published in those specialist areas in a number of journals and books, and in book form as an author or editor of: The Political Ideas of the English Civil Wars (1983), Justice and the Maori (1990, expanded 1997), The English Levellers (1998), Histories Power and Loss: Uses of the Past – a New Zealand Commentary (2001 with P G McHugh), and Bruce Jesson, To Build a Nation: Collected Writings 1975-99 (2005). He is currently working on Samuel Marsden and the Prince of Darkness, a book on an early anglican chaplain and missionary and his encounters with evil in New South Wales and New Zealand. Andrew Sharp is currently Acting Chair of the New Zealand Studies Network.


Professor Sharp’s address will be followed by a reception and dinner.


Readings by New Zealand Writers

 Saturday 9th July: Birkbeck, Malet St., G16 (entrance onto Torrington Square)

9.30 a.m. Kirsty Gunn, Paula Morris, Mia Farlane

11.30 a.m. Fleur Adcock, Robert Sullivan, Briar Wood

1.30 p.m. Lunch at Paradiso Restaurant in Store St


Fleur Adcock was born in New Zealand but has lived in England (with frequent return visits) ever since she arrived in London in 1963. Her previous collections of poetry, now out of print, have been replaced by Poems 1960-2000 (Bloodaxe, 2000). She has also published translations from Romanian and medieval Latin poetry, and edited several anthologies, including The Faber Book of 20th Century Women's Poetry. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and in 2006 she was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.


Maori poet Robert Sullivan has won New Zealand awards for his poetry (Jazz Waiata), children's writing (Weaving Earth and Sky illustrated by Gavin Bishopand editing (Whetu Moana: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English) with Albert Wendt and Reina Whaitiri. Mauri Ola is currently a poetry finalist in the New Zealand Post book Awards. His seven collections of poetry include Star Waka, Captain Cook in the Underworld, Voice Carried My Family, and the recently published, Shout Ha! to the Sky (Salt) and Cassino City of Martyrs (Huia). Previously Director of Creative Writing at the University of Hawai'i, he now heads Manukau Institute of Technology's  School of Creative Writing in Auckland.


Briar Wood grew up in Mangere in Auckland, and currently teaches Creative Writing and New Literatures at London Metropolitan University. Her poetry and critical writing has been widely published. In 2001 she wrote poems for the Glorified Scales installation by Maureen Lander at Te Papa Whakahiku/The Auckland War Memorial Museum, which referred to their Ng? Puhi whakapapa.


Kirsty Gunn was born in New Zealand and educated at Queen Margaret College and Victoria University, Wellington, and at Oxford, where she completed an M.Phil. Her fiction includes the acclaimed Rain (1994), the story of an adolescent girl and the break-up of her family, for which she won a London Arts Board Literature Award. Recent books are The Boy and the Sea (2006), winner of the 2007 Sundial Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award; and 44 Things (2007), a book of personal reflections over the course of one year.


Paula Morris (Ngati Wai) is a fiction writer from Auckland. Four of her novels, including the forthcoming Rangatira, are published by Penguin. She also publishes Young Adult novels - Ruined (2009) and Dark Souls (2011) - with Scholastic US. Paula writes book reviews and art features for the New Zealand Listener, and is the editor of The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories. Her short story collection, Forbidden Cities, was a regional finalist for the 2009 Commonwealth Prize. She recently moved from the US to the UK, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Stirling.


Mia Farlane was born in New Zealand. When she was twelve, her play The Only Thing in Common, about a husband and wife who kill each other, was shown on New Zealand national television. She has a degree in French Language and Literature from Victoria University, Wellington, and lived for several years in France. She now lives in London, where she completed an MA in Creative Writing at Middlesex University.  Footnotes to Sex (Viking 2009, Penguin 2010), her first novel, is about procrastination and 'what happens in a long-term relationship when the sex isn't happening'.


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