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New author moves into Michael King Writers' Centre

January 24, 2006

New author moves into Michael King Writers' Centre

Wellington author Gerry Evans will make the move to North Shore City next week, into the old signalman's house on Mt Victoria in Devonport.

He will be the third writer in residence at the Michael King Writers' Centre.

The Michael King Writers' Studio Trust, with the support of North Shore City Council, Creative New Zealand, the Department of Conservation and fundraising, opened the centre last year.

North Shore City's community liaison manager, Lisa Tocker, says the first centre of its kind in New Zealand supports both local and national writers.

"North Shore City has a strong literary history, and the lease we gave over the signalman's house certainly helped the centre become a reality," she says.

Gerry Evans will be researching and writing a biography on Noel Hilliard, whose work had a major impact on New Zealand society in the 1960s. His novel, Maori Girl, sold 35,000 copies and dealt with race relations and urban alienation.

Gordon McLauchlan, Michael King Writers' Studio Trust chairman, says David Ling and HarperCollins have published Evans, and his work has frequently appeared in Wellington newspapers and the Listener.

"Evans was born in Wales and came to New Zealand as a seaman, where he eventually became national secretary of the New Zealand Seamen's Union. He's also a graduate of Bill Manhire's MA creative writing course."

The previous two writers in residence, who were also funded by Creative New Zealand, were Geoff Chapple and Diane Brown.

Following further fund raising and renovation, the Michael King Writers' Centre will include shared areas for small public events and mentoring new writers, space to display literary memorabilia, a library, and accommodation for visiting writers.


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