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2005 Katherine Mansfield fellow

Wellington poet, fiction writer and critic Ian Wedde, has been announced the winner of the 2005 Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellowship at an event held last night by Meridian Energy.

Ian Wedde says he is thrilled to be chosen as this year’s fellowship winner.

“This is a tremendous privilege and the timing is great – I’ve embarked on a journey to write a book about what home is, and the best way to do that is to go somewhere else.”

The Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellowship is offered each year by Meridian Energy and the Winn Manson Menton Trust to enable a New Zealand writer to work at the Villa Isola Bella in Menton, France where Katherine Mansfield lived and wrote.

Ian’s partner Donna Malane will join him in Menton for part of the time. Ian plans to use the fellowship to work on a travel book exploring the question, ’Where are we when we’re at home?’ and to complete the final draft of a novel called ’Chinese Opera’.

Meridian Energy Chairman, Francis Small says that the company is delighted to be able to help New Zealand writers have the opportunity to work in Menton.

“Meridian Energy is proud to support New Zealand writers and artists in their endeavours. New Zealand literature helps define who we are. Our writers and artists give us insight into our culture and our country, and help us to see it with new eyes.

“Ian’s literary versatility has established him as a leading New Zealand writer and he’s received wide critical acclaim. Ian has been singled out long before this evening. He’s been awarded with the Burns Fellowship, won the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry, and won the Book Award for Fiction for his first novel, ‘Dick Seddon’s Great Dive’. Tonight he can proudly add another string to his bow, and introduce himself as the 2005 Katherine Mansfield Fellow,” says Dr Small.

Previous Katherine Mansfield Fellowship recipients include Maurice Gee, Lloyd Jones, Witi Ihimaera, Roger Hall, Maurice Shadbolt and the 2004 Fellow, Bill Manhire.

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