The Residency is jointly funded by the University and Creative New Zealand. It includes a writing room and a stipend of $15,000 and will run for three months during the first half of 2020. Applications are open now.
Current Resident, playwright Leki Jackson-Bourke says, ‘Where I come from, writing isn’t really a “thing”. Being here at the IIML as the inaugural Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence dispels that myth. It has been such a luxury to have extra time, space and resources—and being away from my community has given me time to reflect on how important it is for us to champion and write our own stories. We must tell our truth, before someone else does.’
The Residency is unique in offering the chance to work in a stimulating, established community of writers, with a mentor from the Pasifika arts community. Leki’s mentor, renowned playwright Victor Rodger says, ‘As well as close involvement with his own writing, the mentorship has given Leki the chance to encounter works which have challenged, provoked and expanded his frame of reference and which, I believe, will help his development as a writer.’
The IIML welcomes applications from writers at an early stage of their careers, with a growing body of work. Applications are invited from writers in all areas of literary activity, including drama, fiction and poetry (page and performance), devised performance, creative non-fiction and graphic novels.
‘This is a fabulous opportunity for a new Pasifika writer to work on a creative project in a stimulating and supportive environment. I am very excited,’ says Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) Dame Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.
IIML Director Professor Damien Wilkins says, ‘There are so many exciting things happening in Pasifika writing and we’re thrilled to be involved with this residency.’