Cultural Royalty In Residence At Michael King Centre

Posted by on Nov 09, 2010 | Leave a Comment

Authors of two radically different projects have been selected for the Summer and Autumn Residencies at the Michael King Writers’ Centre early next year.

Playwright Arthur Meek with his girlfriend Samantha Hayes

Playwright Arthur Meek with his girlfriend Samantha Hayes

The Summer Residency has been awarded to playwright Arthur Meek, who is working on a drama about the high life of 1980s New Zealand. The Autumn Residency has been awarded to Wellington author Nelson Wattie, for a literary biography of Kapiti poet, novelist and playwright Alistair Te Ariki Campbell.

Each residency, offered with support from Creative New Zealand, is for eight weeks. The writers have free accommodation and working space at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport, and receive an $8,000 stipend.

Aucklander Arthur Meek has written for stage, screen and radio, worked extensively as an actor and performed in musical comedy. Last year he received the Best New Play and Outstanding New Playwright Awards in the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. He was nominated for the Bruce Mason Playwrighting Award. His 2008 show On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking me as Her Young Lover was performed all over New Zealand.

He is working on a play called The Good Times, the story of a group of friends who surf the social, political and economic upheavals of 1980s New Zealand, from heroin to the sharemarket crash.

Dr Nelson Wattie is an author, translator, academic and opera singer from Wellington, who taught in German universities for many years and has written extensively about aspects of New Zealand literature. He was a fellow at the Stout Research Centre in Wellington in 1989-90.

His project is a major literary biography of Alistair Te Ariki Campbell (1929-2009), based on interviews with the poet and other personal documents, including his diaries over 40 years. Campbell was a major New Zealand literary figure, whose work explores both his European and Cook Island heritage.

Playwright Arthur Meek with his girlfriend Samantha Hayes

Playwright Arthur Meek with his girlfriend Samantha Hayes

The aim of the residencies is to support New Zealand writers and to promote New Zealand literature by providing an opportunity for the writers to work full-time on a major project. The Michael King Writers’ Centre hopes to be able to offer to more residencies in 2011.

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