Sunday, May 10, 2009

Seresin Landfall Residency

Seresin Estate and Otago University Press recently announced New Zealand writer C.K. Stead as the first winner of the Seresin Landfall Residency.

C.K. Stead is a novelist, literary critic, poet and essayist and has been a prominent figure in New Zealand literature since the 1950s. He has published 13 collections of poems, two of short stories, eleven novels, six books of literary criticism and edited a number of texts.“My association with Landfall goes back as far as 1951 when I first offered founder Charles Brasch poems and has continued ever since. I feel very enthusiastic about the idea of a Residency set up to honour both the magazine and Harry Seresin whom I knew slightly in the days when he ran The Settlement restaurant in Wellington”, says C.K. Stead.

The connection between Stead and the Seresin family name continued with the 70s film adaptation of one of Stead’s best-known works.“Michael was the cameraman for Sleeping Dogs, which Roger Donaldson made from my novel Smith’s Dream”, adds C.K. Stead.

Stead will spend the six-week residency in Tuscany, working on an autobiography of his childhood and early years and a new collection of poetry.

Michael Seresin is delighted with the calibre of applicants for the 2009 Seresin Landfall Residency.“Given the quality of the applicants I found it very hard to choose a winner and we are honoured to have C.K. Stead as the first writer to hold the Seresin Landfall Residency. In this, the first year of the residency, I also wanted to take the opportunity to support a young writer who was just starting out.”Michael Seresin has offered an additional six-week residency in the Marlborough Sounds to Jenah Shaw. At twenty-one years of age, Jenah is a promising young writer at the start of her career. She will use the residency to finish work on her first novel.

‘It is difficult for anyone just to write and completely commit to a project without distraction – but it is especially difficult for a young writer with only the smallest beginnings of a career. While I’m still feeling a little stunned – and hugely privileged – I fully appreciate the enormous potential of this opportunity”, says Jenah.

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