5 Nov 2015
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Poet Anna Jackson has been awarded the prestigious Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship for 2015.
The fellowship is one of New Zealand's oldest and best-loved literary awards. It provides NZ $35,000 and the opportunity for a New Zealand author to live in Menton, France for three months. With the support of the city of Menton, Anna Jackson will be able to work at the Villa Isola Bella, where Katherine Mansfield lived and wrote during the latter part of her life.
Jackson plans to work on a new collection of pastoral poetry, during her time in Menton. She says, “My second collection of poetry was The Pastoral Kitchen, published in 2001. I would like to start again with the pastoral, but I imagine this new collection taking it into some more surprising and darker places, travelling along metaphysical paths as well as the brambled and boggy paths of the real world.
“The Menton Fellowship will provide perspective for thinking about New Zealand in relation to elsewhere, and for thinking about place both metaphorically and very literally.”
Anna Jackson has published seven collections of poetry: I, Clodia (2014), Thicket (2011; shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Book Awards: poetry), The Gas Leak (2006), Locating the Madonna (with Jenny Powell-Chalmers, 2004), Catullus for Children (2003), The Pastoral Kitchen (2001; shortlisted for the Montana Book Awards: Poetry) and The Long Road to Teatime (2000).
In 2000 she won the Louis Johnson New Writer’s Award and in 2001 she was Writer in Residence at Waikato University. Her poetry and fiction has been published in many literary journals and anthologies in New Zealand and overseas.
Richard Cathie, Chair of the Fellowship Trust, says “The judging panel were most impressed with Anna’s project for the fellowship. We are delighted to have such an elegant and accessible poet as our 2015 fellow. We can look forward to further surprises from her.”
Established in 1970, the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship is open to established and mid-career New Zealand writers. There have been 43 recipients, including Janet Frame, Michael King, Lloyd Jones, Witi Ihimaera, Bill Manhire, Dame Fiona Kidman, Jenny Pattrick and, in 2014, Mandy Hager.
The fellowship is an initiative of the Winn-Manson Menton Trust and is administered by Creative New Zealand.
The Trust gratefully acknowledges a $25,000 grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade towards the residency. The Winn Manson-Menton Trust has recently joined with the Arts Foundation in an ambitious bid to raise a capital sum of $800,000 to preserve this iconic fellowship, with Creative New Zealand providing funding of $50,000 this year to help the trust reach this goal.
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