New Writer in Residence at the International Institute of Modern Letters
Acclaimed playwright Victor Rodger has been appointed the Victoria University of Wellington and Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2017. Mr Rodger is the first writer of Pasifika descent to be awarded this position.
Best known for his 2013 play Black Faggot, Mr Rodger has also received critical acclaim for his other works. Mr Rodger’s first play, Sons, won Best New Play and Best Writer at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards in 1998. He also received the 2001 Bruce Mason Playwriting Award.
Mr Rodger has been the Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University, the McMillan Brown Artist in Residence at Canterbury University and he was the 2006 Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence at the University of Hawaii.
Mr Rodger trained as an actor at Toi Whakaari and has also worked as a journalist and a writer for television. Victoria University Press will publish a collection of his plays next year.
Mr Rodger’s writing, which often deals with issues of sexuality, race and identity, has been praised for its boldness, candour and freshness.
Director of Scriptwriting at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), Ken Duncum, says: “Victor is our greatest Pasifika dramatist. His work never settles for the comfortable, is always subversive, intelligent and vibrant. We’re thrilled that Victor will be at the IIML next year.”
Mr Rodger plans to use the residency to work on short stories as well as plays.
“I’m grateful that the residency will allow me the freedom to think and research and write for an entire year. And I’m excited to share my work, old and new, throughout my year in Wellington. Brace yourselves, Poneke,” Mr Rodger says.