About Me

My short fiction and poetry have been published worldwide in over one hundred journals including in New Zealand in Landfall, Islands and Sport; in Australia in Poetry Australia,  Jacket, Overland, Southerly, and Island Magazine; in the United Kingdom in The Independent, The London Magazine, The Rialto, Stand, and  The Tabla Book of New Verse; in Canada in Ariel, The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, The Fiddlehead, Grain,  The Malahat Review, Prism International, and Queen's Quarterly;  in the United States in AGNI, Alimentum, The Baltimore Review, Gargoyle, The Cincinnati Review, The Greensboro Review, The Harvard Review, the Iowa Review, Main Street Rag, The Manhattan Review, the New Delta Review, Nimrod,  Poetry International, Puerto del Sol, Confrontations Magazine, Verse, and The Sycamore Review.

§  My short fiction for children has been anthologised in many collections including among others ZigZag, The Body in the Driveway, Falling in Love, The First Time, Weird and Wonderful, Claws and Jaws, LikeWallpaper and Down to the Sea Again. 

§  My poetry has been anthologised in collections including The Oxford Book of New Zealand Poetry in English, New Zealand Love Poems: An Oxford Anthology, Essential New Zealand Poems, Spinning a Line, Big Sky, Contemporary New Zealand Poets in Performance, and The Best of Best New Zealand Poems.

§  I have published six highly acclaimed collections of poetry:  The Sportsman & Other Poems short-listed for the PEN Jessie Mackay Award, Letters to Dr Dee short-listed for the New Zealand Book Awards 1994, A Kind of Kingdom, Rat Tickling, Along Blueskin Road and Villon in Millerton; a collection of short stories for adults: The Chinese Interpreter  and nine novels for young readers: Under the Rotunda, Penguin Bay,  The Emerald Encyclopedia which won an Honour Award at the Aim Children’s Book Awards, The Carousel Experiment, The Assassin of Gleam which won the Sir Julius Vogel Award in 2007 The Loblolly Boy (2009 which was published in America as The Boy Who Could Fly in 2010. The Loblolly Boy won the junior fiction category in the NZ Post Children's Book Awards in 2010, was shortlisted for the Esther Glen Award and was a Storylines Notable Book,  The Loblolly Boy and the Sorcerer, 2011and The Enchanted Flute in 2012.

§  Among the many works I have edited are Takahe Magazine either as poetry editor or fiction editor; the Redraft series of writing by young people (first with Alan Bunnand latterly with Tessa Duder) and Big Sky (with Bernadette Hall). I am the poetry editor of the Christchurch Press

§  Among many other literary awards and distinctions are the PEN Lilian Ida Smith Award, a NZ Children's Writers' Bursary, the Dunedin Friends of the Library Centennial Short Story Award, twice winning the  NZ Poetry Society's Poetry Competition,  being  short listed for the Robert T. Wong Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, being awarded the 2000 Robert Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago and in 2003 Awarded the Christchurch Press Literary Liaisons Honour Award for “lasting contribution to literature in the South Island”. In 2005 I was awarded an Island of Residencies  residency in Hobart, Tasmania. In 2006 I was a fellow at the University of Iowa as part of the Iowa International Writing Program, and a fellow at the Kimmel, Harding, Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City.In 2008 I was for three months the artist in residence at Arts Centre in Palmerston North & Massey University. In 2012 I will spend 6 months in the Robert Lord Cottage as the Otago University / Creative New Zealand Children's Writer in Residence.

§ Beyond festivals and events in New Zealand, I have been an invited guest to the Queensland Poetry Festival in Brisbane (2008), the XX Medellin International Poetry Festival in Colombia (2010) and the Troi-Rivieres International Poetry Festival in Quebec, (2011).

§ I am married to Joan Melvyn and we live in Church Bay, Lyttelton Harbour near Christchurch, New Zealand. Our children Tom and Elisabeth have grown up and married, Tom to Seren and Lissie to Alejandro.