Tag Archives: linda chanwai-earle

Lynda Chanwai-Earle named 2019 Writer in Residence at IIML


Ground-breaking playwright and poet Lynda Chanwai-Earle has been appointed as the Victoria University of Wellington International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2019.

Ms Chanwai-Earle is a well-known public broadcaster, having worked for many years as a documentary producer at Radio New Zealand. She is a researcher for the Asia New Zealand Foundation and has been a guest writer at numerous festivals, including the Hong Kong Literary Festival, the Asia Pacific Poetry Festival, and the Shanghai Literary Festival.

Ms Chanwai-Earle’s first book of poetry— Honeypants—was shortlisted for the New Zealand Book Awards. She has published four plays and has been shortlisted three times for the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award.

During her residency, Ms Chanwai-Earle will work on three scriptwriting projects, including a film adaptation of her play Man in a Suitcase, based on the real-life murder of a Chinese student in Auckland. The other two scripts will complete her Antarctic Trilogy, which began with HEAT—a world first in green-powered theatre performed completely off-grid in theatres across New Zealand.

Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters, Professor Damien Wilkins, says, “Lynda has been a great advocate for the arts, especially across all sorts of cultural and social boundaries. She’s spent the last decade championing others. The writing residency sees her return to her own innovative, creative work. We’re excited to see what she produces.”

Commenting on the appointment, Ms Chanwai-Earle says, “It goes without saying that choosing to be a writer is choosing to sustain a financially challenged vocation. This residency is a rare thing. It creates vital, precious time and space. I’m anticipating an extremely productive year. The residency also gives me a chance to collaborate with acclaimed inter-disciplinary arts and science practitioners, as well as theatre and science communities within Wellington.”

Ms Chanwai-Earle takes up the residency at the IIML on 1 February 2019.







Nina Powles on hunger, food and poetry with @LyndaChanwaiEar on National Radio

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“You must be hungry girls,” he said. We were in Shanghai, 14 or 15, eating dumplings. We absolutely were hungry girls, I don’t just mean food. We were hungry for everything, in every sense of the word.”  – Nina Powles.

“Love is a bowl of noodles. Eating noodles reminds me of being at home, and also being very, very far away from home.” Nina Powles, Mooncake poetry zine, Shanghai, 2016.

“The first character of my mother’s name, Wen, is made of rain and language.  According to my dictionary, together they mean “multi-coloured clouds” or “cloud tints.” There are so many things I am trying to hold together. I write them down each day to stop them from slipping. Mouthfuls of rain, the blue undersides of clouds, her hydrangeas in the dark.”  Nina Powles, Field Notes On A Downpour, zine, Shanghai 2016.


I heard this  conversation replayed at 5 am this morning and it is terrific!

Coincidentally, I am about to post Nina’s contribution to the Autumn Season.


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