Wednesday, September 30, 2015

D’Arcy Writers’ Residencies on Waiheke for 2016.

The D’Acy Writers’ Residencies Executive Committee has chosen the two essayists who will each spend three months in residence at Onetangi, on Waiheke Island, during 2016. They will be supported by a stipend and a transport grant.

          The successful applicants to write essays on the life and culture of New Zealand are Wellington writer Linda Burgess and Auckland-based journalist and novelist Peter Walker.

          Linda Burgess’s essay aims to compare how New Zealanders saw themselves portrayed on television in the 1970s and now, forty years later, considering drama, soap opera, comedy, current affairs, documentary, advertising, the demise of the quiz show and the rise of reality television. Burgess was for many years a newspaper television columnist, film and book critic, and is a successful writer of short fiction and television drama.

          Peter Walker is a Wellington-born journalist who became foreign editor of Britain’s Independent on Sunday.  He has an abiding interest in race relations. In 1997 he wrote an extended essay published in Granta under the title of Maori War. His first book was The Fox Boy, published by Bloomsbury in 2001, the story of a Maori child adopted by New Zealand politician William Fox and his wife and brought up in a European environment. Walker’s D’Arcy essay project concerns racial attraction, especially in the New Zealand context. He writes: “The term ‘race hatred’ comes trippingly off the tongue. But what about the attraction between different peoples and cultures? ‘Race love’ may sound weird. And yet it is a powerful force. In the end, in fact, it often prevails”.

          The D’Arcy Writers’ Residencies executive committee that judged the applications for 2016 was impressed by the imaginative quality of the projects submitted. Members of the committee are: writers Gordon McLauchlan (chair), Hamish Keith and Bruce Ansley; Graham Beattie, book blogger; Virginia Larson, editor North & South magazine; Fiona Kralicek, Waiheke community librarian; and Jackie Dennis, representing the NZ Society of Authors (PEN Inc).

          The D’Arcy Writers’ Residencies are sponsored by Mark and Deborah D’Arcy, New Zealand expatriates who live in New York.

No comments: