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When Mark Twain meets the Tuataras

MEDIA RELEASE


05 December 2007
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When Mark Twain meets the Tuataras

Playwright and author David Geary has been announced as the 2008 Writer in Residence with the University’s International Institute of Modern Letters.

A dual citizen of Canada and New Zealand, Mr Geary returns to New Zealand from Vancouver Island to take up the 12-month residency where he will work on a number of projects, including a play for children based on the University’s internationally-acclaimed tuatara breeding programme.

His chief writing project however, is a full-length play based on Mark Twain’s 1895 lecture tour of New Zealand. Mr Geary says he is particularly interested in an incident in Wanganui when a man broke into Twain’s hotel room to warn him of an assassination plot. He is keen to hear from anyone possessing information, especially family stories, about Twain’s nationwide tour.

A Victoria graduate, he is looking forward to working students and staff of New Zealand's leading creative writing programme.

Professor Bill Manhire, Director of the Institute, says he is delighted that a writer of Mr Geary’s calibre is taking up the 2008 residency.

“One of the great things about David is the range of what he does. He’s an example to us all. Not only is he one of our leading playwrights, he's also a fiction writer and poet of real distinction.”

Of English, Scots, Irish and Maori descent, David Geary grew up in the Manawatu, and is the author of numerous successful plays, including Pack of Girls and Lovelock’s Dream Run. He has also written for television (Mercy Peak, Jackson’s Wharf, Shortland Street) and his short story collection A Man of the People was published by Victoria University Press in 2003. In 2006 and 2007, David ran the Indigena Lab, a scriptwriting workshop for First Nation writers in Vancouver, Canada.

Previous Writers in Residence at Victoria include Patricia Grace, Maurice Gee, Elizabeth Knox, Michael King, Witi Ihimaera, Barbara Anderson, and Alistair Te Ariki Campbell. The 2007 Writer in Residence is playwright and novelist Dave Armstrong.

The position is jointly funded by Victoria University and Creative New Zealand.

ends

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