Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Epic Achievement for Eleanor Catton's Student, Despite Loss


Kirsti Whalen

Epic Achievement for Eleanor Catton's Student, Despite Loss.

18 May 2014

Kirsti Whalen, a second-year creative writing student at MIT, has been applauded by her mentors and colleagues in the Faculty of Creative Arts, which include celebrated writers Robert Sullivan, Anne Kennedy, Albert Wendt, Witi Ihimaera, and the winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, Eleanor Catton, for being shortlisted for the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize... despite not winning the award.

Iconic poet, Sam Hunt announced veteran author CK Stead as the winner and established poet Emma Neale and Kirsti Whalen as runners-up at the Auckland Writers Festival in Auckland this afternoon.

Eleanor Catton said she was, “absolutely thrilled” that Kirsti was one of three on the shorlist.
“To be recognised early in one’s career is an incredible boost, and I am excited to see what new opportunities will open up for Kirsti as a result of this marvellous achievement,” Catton says. “We are all very proud of her!”

Robert Sullivan, in whose workshop Kirsti developed and honed her poems, is equally impressed.
“Kirsti’s poetic voice leads her readers to an emotional place,” says Sullivan. “She has a range beyond her years from spoken word to lyrical poems for the page. Her voice is an exciting addition to New Zealand literature. She is also a very generous supporter of other writers in the workshop. It’s a wonderful group.”

The pride goes both ways: Kirsti takes inspiration from her mentors, too.
“I look at all that Ellie has achieved, and look to many of my favourite writers, and try not to discount myself from the potential of the same kind of success,” she says. “I know that earning potential as a poet is not exceptional, in any way. But there is a small, idealistic part of me that believes that if I work hard enough, and have enough lucky breaks, maybe there is a way I can make it work.”

Manukau Institute of Technology’s creative writing programme, offering a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and following the workshop model pioneered by the University of Iowa, is unique in the Auckland region.
Dean of Creative Arts, Grant Thompson says the Creative Writing programme is world-class. “Eleanor Catton is a key member of the teaching team and has made an inspirational impact on the students. I believe Kirsti’s name on the shortlist with Stead’s and Neale’s was no accident, it’s testament to the success of the programme. Time in the Faculty has enriched the quality of her voice—she is a new talent receiving recognition in advance of reputation.”

Kirsti isn’t the first of MIT’s creative writing students to be recognised. Daren Kamali, who will be capped this week, was awarded the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer’s residency in Hawai'i in 2012 which was worth $30,000, and is currently reading at the Hawaii Books and Music Festival in Honolulu where his second book, Squid Out of Water, is being launched. His third book will be published in Australia later this year.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

A Series Of Tubes: 150 Years Of The Cook Strait Cable

“It was a momentous achievement for its time. The successful connection came on the third attempt at laying the cable, and followed a near disaster when the first cable snapped - almost destroying the ship Weymouth in the process,” says Ms Adams. More>>

ALSO:

February 2017: Guns N' Roses - New Zealand Dates Announced

Founder Axl Rose and former members, Slash and Duff McKagan have regrouped for one of the century’s most anticipated tours... Rolling Stone said: "This was the real thing, the thing we'd all been waiting for: the triumphant return of one of the most important bands to cross rock music history. And it happened in our lifetime.” More>>

Werewolf: Brando, Peckinpah And Billy The Kid

Gordon Campbell: Initially, One-Eyed Jacks was supposed to have been directed by Stanley Kubrick from a script by Sam Peckinpah – yet it quickly became Brando’s baby... More>>

Book Awards: ANZAC Heroes Wins Margaret Mahy Book Of The Year

“Simply stunning, with gold-standard production values,” say the judges of the winner of this year’s Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award in the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. ANZAC Heroes is also the winner of the Elsie Locke Award for the Best Book in the Non-Fiction category. More>>

Baby Animals: Hamilton Zoo Rhino Calf Named

Hamilton Zoo’s latest rhino calf has been named Samburu and he's being celebrated with a unique zoo experience... Samburu arrived after his mother Kito’s 16-month pregnancy and the calf brings the number of white rhinos at Hamilton Zoo to six. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Rio Olympics

Were you pretty excited earlier this week when Vietnam won its first ever Olympic gold medal? Hanoi, reportedly, went wild... Perhaps we should keep Vietnam’s golden moment in mind as we gear up for saturation media coverage of New Zealand’s medal achievements in Rio. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news