Thom Conroy is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Massey University, where he coordinates the Masters of Creative Writing degree. He is also a fiction writer whose historical novel The Naturalist was published with Random House in 2014. His work has also appeared in various journals in the US and New Zealand, including Sport, Landfall, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Kenyon Review. His fiction has been recognised by Best American Short Stories 2012 and has won various other awards, including the Katherine Ann Porter Prize in Fiction and the Sunday Star-Times Short Fiction Competition. Thom is the founder of the Aotearoa Creative Writing Research Network.
Lisa Samuels was raised in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East and moved to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2006. Her work focuses in transculturalism, ethics, violence, the body, and imaginative knowing. Her nine books include Wild Dialectics (poetry, 2012) and Anti M (creative non-fiction, 2013), and she has also published chapbooks, CDs, and essays on poetry and critical practice.
Forthcoming work includes her experimental novel Tender Girl (Dusie Press) and an essay on innovative poetry (Tinfish Press), and current projects include collaborations with film-maker Wes Tank and with composer Frédéric Pattar. Her PhD in English is from the University of Virginia, and she teaches writing, theory, and literature at the University of Auckland. Some of her work can be found via the Electronic Poetry Center, pennsound & academia.edu.
After acting out the saints and martyrs at primary school, Christina found heaven on earth in a converted billiard saloon, The Cue Theatre in Inglewood.
At university, she carried on acting while studying drama. In her Master of Arts (1993) she studied ancient to modern drama and wrote a thesis entitled Foreskin’s Legacy: Gender, Sex and Violence in Recent New Zealand Theatre.
Christina has a doctorate in New Zealand literature. This research was later developed and published as Reading Pakeha? Fiction and Identity in Aotearoa New Zealand by Rodopi (New York and Amsterdam) in 2009.
She teaches and researches Modern Drama and Creative Writing at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.
A playwright and theatre director, her plays include Pitcairn, Love Babe, SKOOL!, Hot Stuff, & Domestic Bliss.
Mary-Jane Duffy is the Programme Leader of the Creative Writing Programme at Whitireia New Zealand. She is also a writer of poems and essays, and writes a weekly column for Wellington’s Fishhead magazine on contemporary art. She was featured in the recent Wellington LitCrawl and in Best New Zealand Poems 2013. She has a background in art exhibition and gallery management, and a BA and MA in Art History (Canterbury). She is currently working on a novel.
Tracey Slaughter teaches creative writing at the University of Waikato. Her first book of short stories and poetry her body rises was published by Random House in 2005. Her short stories have received numerous awards including the Bridport Prize 2014 and the Katherine Mansfield Award in 2004, and her short fiction has been included in anthologies such as Some Other Country: Best New Zealand Short Stories (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2008) and The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories (Auckland: Penguin, 2009). Her poetry has also received awards, including being shortlisted for the Manchester Poetry Prize 2014, and winning the Aoraki Poetry Prize in 2002. She was the recipient of the 2010 Louis Johnson New Writers’ Bursary.
Born in Ayrshire, Liam McIlvanney is the inaugural Stuart Professor of Scottish Studies at the University of Otago, having previously taught at the University of Aberdeen. His monograph, Burns the Radical: Poetry and Politics in Late Eighteenth-Century Scotland, won the Saltire First Book Award in 2002. He is co-editor of The Good of the Novel (Faber, 2011), and The Cambridge Companion to Scottish Literature (CUP, 2012). His reviews have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books. He is the author of two novels published by Faber and Faber: the first, All the Colours of the Town, was shortlisted for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Fiction Award in 2010; the second, Where the Dead Men Go, won the 2014 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best New Zealand Crime Novel. He is currently supervising a creative-cum-critical PhD thesis focusing on narrative technique in the novels of Walter Scott.
Robert Sullivan’s nine books include the epic poem Star Waka (Auckland University Press) which has been reprinted five times and translated into German, the graphic novel Maui: Legends of the Outcast, illustrated by Chris Slane, and the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year, Weaving Earth and Sky, illustrated by Gavin Bishop. He wrote a poem for the front steps of the Auckland City Library with a bronze installation called ‘Kawe Reo / Voices Carry’. He lives in Auckland and is head of Manukau Institute of Technology’s Creative Writing School. For a time, he was director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Sullivan co-edited with Albert Wendt and Reina Whaitiri two anthologies of Polynesian poetry in English, the Montana New Zealand Book Award winning Whetu Moana, and Mauri Ola. The latest anthology he has co-edited also with Reina Whaitiri is Puna Wai Korero: An Anthology of Maori Poetry in English which is the first poetry anthology of its kind. He belongs to the Maori tribes Nga Puhi and Kai Tahu, and is also of Irish descent.
Paul Mountfort (PhD English, U of Auckland; MA English, U of Canterbury) is the Chair of the AUT Centre for Creative Writing, which offers programmes from BA Creative Writing through to PhD (Creative Writing). He is Vice-president of the Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ) as well as area chair of the Comics, Manga and Anime area. He sits on the editorial boards of The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture (UK: Intellect) and IAFOR’s Journal of Asian Studies. Since the publication of Ogam (London: Random House, 2001) and Nordic Runes (Rochester, VM: ITI, 2003), full-length monographs on the use of letters in arts and the imagination, his research interests have focused on a cluster of transmedia phenomena: oracle-texts in popular culture, graphic novels, SF trends, street photography and cosplay. His forthcoming books in 2015-16 include Hipshots: shooting from the hip and Planet Cosplay with Intellect Books, UK.