The Caselberg Trust announced today that the inaugural recipient of its new Elizabeth Brooke-Carr Emerging Writers Residency in 2021 will be Ōtepoti Dunedin writer Megan Kitching.
Megan was born in Auckland but now calls Ōtepoti Dunedin her home. She has a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from Queen Mary University of London, and tutors English and Creative Writing at the University of Otago, where she also works as a research assistant. Her poetry is included in a forthcoming edition of Poetry New Zealand and has appeared in The Frogmore Papers, Landfall, takahē, and the Otago Daily Times.
The residency is named after well-known and much-loved Dunedin writer Elizabeth Brooke-Carr who died in 2019. The residency, which will be held for one week each year, has been established thanks to the generous fundraising undertaken by Elizabeth’s family, friends, and colleagues of Ms Brooke-Carr who wanted to provide for an annual residency at the Caselberg house in Broad Bay in her honour.
“We are absolutely delighted to be able to make this announcement today for our new annual residency, which commemorates a great friend and supporter of the Caselberg Trust, Dunedin writer Elizabeth Brooke-Carr” said Dr Janet Downs Chairperson Caselberg Trust “Elizabeth was the inaugural Caselberg Trust writer-in-residence back in 2009, and she often talked about how much the experience meant to her as an emerging writer who took up writing in her later years”
Dunedin Deputy Mayor Christine Garey was a great friend of Ms Brooke-Carr, and initiated the fundraising efforts
“This new residency is a source of much pride and with the warm hospitality of the Caselberg Trust, and the Cottage’s breath-taking views and peaceful surroundings, emerging writers will be inspired to take their work to the next level.
It is especially fitting that the inaugural recipient lives in our City of Literature, and I know how thrilled Elizabeth would have been – she was at her happiest, encouraging and supporting others to reach their potential.”
Ms Kitching, who will undertake the residency in March 2021 said, “I’m delighted and grateful to receive the inaugural residency and looking forward to exploring new work in a very special place.”
The residency will shift focus slightly each year by offering emerging writers from a variety of writing genres – poetry, fiction, non-fiction, journalism. Nominations are sought from an established writer who put forwards the names of emerging writers whom they feel would benefit from dedicated time to develop their writing. Final selection is made by a panel comprising Caselberg Trustees, a member of Elizabeth’s writing group, and an established writer. This year, emerging writers from across New Zealand were put forward for consideration by a well-known New Zealand poet.
The Caselberg Trust purchased the Broad Bay, Dunedin home of the late John and Anna Caselberg in 2006, with the aim of hosting creative residencies in the house. Since inception, the Trust has held a variety of creative projects and events, as well as hosting several well-known New Zealand writers and artists at the cottage.