We printed 500 cards for the first edition and 5500 for our fifteenth edition, that’s quite an achievement! This edition features the four poems which won prizes for their creators in our PitWR 2012 competition. Just as a reminder: Emma Neale was first, Joan Norlev Taylor was placed second, Catherine Fitchett was third with Carolyn McCurdie chosen as the best unplaced Dunedin poet. All the poets who contributed to this issue provided me with their bios, except Ted – because I forgot to ask him! His bio I gathered from various sites and book covers. And I also asked the winning poets for their photos.
I hope you manage to pick up a copy. They should be in every medical centre, rest home, hospice and prison in the South Island by the first of June. If you can’t find any copies ask the receptionists to get in touch with me at waitingroompoems(at)gmail(dot)com. Please replace the (at) with @ and (dot) with .
Carolyn McCurdie is a Dunedin writer. Her poetry has been published in a variety of NZ publications and on-line. This year one of her poems was among five highly commended in the Caselberg Poetry Competition. She has also written short stories, for which she won the Lilian Ida Smith Award in 1998. Her adventure fantasy for children, ‘The Unquiet’ was published in 2006 by Longacre Press.
Catherine Fitchett lives in a slightly wonky house in Christchurch with her husband and a varying number of grown up children. In the day she works in accounts. She writes poetry in the evenings and weekends.
Emma Neale is a novelist, poet, editor and occasional creative writing tutor. Her most recent novel is Fosterling (Auckland: Random House, 2011). Her unpublished poetry manuscript The Truth Garden was selected by Cilla McQueen for the 2011 Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry. It is due out from the University of Otago Press on Montana Poetry Day 2012. Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago for 2012, she lives in Dunedin with her husband and two sons.
Jane Buxton, children’s author
I began writing stories at the age of six and my parents and my teachers were always very encouraging. They told me that when I grew up I’d be a writer, and I believed them!
My first children’s book was published in 1976 and I’ve been writing for children ever since. For many years I was a primary school teacher and wrote stories part-time. I now earn my living as a writer and have had over 200 stories, plays, poems and articles published both in New Zealand and overseas, mainly for the education market.
I live by the sea in North Canterbury. As well as writing stories I spend a lot of time walking on the beach with my two dogs. My writing room overlooks the sea and is a very peaceful place to work.
Joan Norlev Taylor has written a novel, Conversations with Mr. Prain, published in New York (Melville House, 2006; new edn. 2011), but now spends more of her creative writing time with poetry. She has travelled a great deal, and loves walking, theatre, being in beautiful places and meeting people across cultural divides.
Sandra Simpson lives in Tauranga and is secretary of the Katikati Haiku Pathway Committee, editor of the Haiku NewZ website and is co-organising a Haiku Festival Aotearoa for June. She has won several awards for her haiku and at the end of 2011 published her first collection, breath .
Ted Kooser served as the United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004 – 2006. During his second term he won the Pulitzer Prize for his book of poems, Delights & Shadows (Copper Canyon Press, 2004). A Presidential Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he is the author of twelve full-length collections of poetry. He worked for many years in the life insurance business, retiring in 1999 as a vice president. He and his wife, Kathleen Rutledge live on an acreage near the village of Garland, Nebraska.
Vaughan Rapatahana is a Kiwi of Maori extraction (ko Te Atiawa te iwi), married to a lady from the Philippines, where they have a home, and living and working in Hong Kong. His house in Aotearoa is slap bang in the middle of Te Araroa, beneath Hinerupe marae. Been fortunate to be published widely in a variety of genre worldwide. Two separate poetry collections came out in late 2011 – china as kafka (Kilmog Press, Dunedin, Aotearoa) and Home Away Elsewhere (Proverse Hong Kong) while a very important critique of English language agencies entitled English Language as Hydra will be published by Multilingual Matters, U.K in June, 2012.