Tusiata Avia

Update on Tusiata Avia

Sadly Tusiata is unable to vist us on 14th March. But we are hoping that she will be joining us another time. In the meantime the committee are planning a great evening for that Thursday and are looking forward to seeing you all.


We are lucky enough to have Tusiata Avia coming to talk to us at our March meeting, which will be held at 7:30 pm on Thursday the 14th.

Tusiata is an established and respected poet and writer. She has published collections of poetry and children’s books. Her solo show Wild Dogs Under My Skirt premiered at the 2002 Dunedin Fringe Festival and then toured nationally and internationally.

She has gained a number of awards and residencies. In 2005 she was awarded the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer’s Residence at the University of Hawai ]and was the artist-in-residence at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury. The following year she was shortlisted for the Prize in Modern Letters and won the Emerging Pacific Artist award at the Creative New Zealan Arts Pasifika Awards. She was the 2010 Ursula Bethell writer in residence at the University of Canterbury. In 2013, she received the Janet Frame Literary Trust Award.

If that were not enough, Tusiata’s poetry has appeared in several literary journals including Takahe, Sport, Turbine, and Trout. It has also been published in the Best New Zealand Poems series (in 2004, 2009, 2011 and 2017).

And here’s the list of her poetry collections

  • Fale Aiutu – Spirit House (Victoria University Press, 2016). This was shortlisted for the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
  • Bloodclot (Victoria University Press, 2009)
  • Wild Dogs Under My Skirt (Victoria University Press, 2004)

And her children’s books

  • Mele and the Fofo (Victoria University Press, 2004)
  • The Song (Victoria University Press, 2002)

So, as already said,  we are lucky to have her visiting us. It should be an amazing evening so make sure you put it in your diary now!

Jeff Clark and Creativity


We are so lucky to be having Jeff Clark from the Court Theatre coming to SIWA. He will talk about creativity and what you do to make yourself creative even when you don’t feel like being creative.

Jeff has been a professional improviser with The Court Jesters since 1996. As well as over two decades performing in NZ’s longest-running comedy show, Scared Scriptless, as well as numerous improvised shows, Jeff regularly performs as a stand up comedian and corporate entertainer. His character Gary Starlight has been seen at The Court Theatre, Nelson Fringe (Winner “Best of Fringe” 2016), World Buskers Festival, Cavell Leitch NZ Jazz and Blues Fetival, Nelson Jazz Festival and 2018 Dunedin Fringe.

Jeff has written a number of short plays for children and his first full-length play, a horror-comedy about Edgar Allan Poe, debuted at The Forge at The Court Theatre in 2009. He has also written for What Now?; Hi-Viz (a web-series covering the Chch rebuild); and is a regular participant in the 48Hours Filming competition with Chch team TBALC.

So stick Thursday 09 November in your diaries and come along to the meeting prepared to be inspired!

Anna Rogers is coming to SIWA in September

She will be talking to us at the Thursday 14th September meeting.

Here’s a quote from google books that tells us about her

“Anna Rogers has spent most of her working life as a book editor. She has an MA in English from Canterbury University, and has also worked as a bookseller and as a sub editor for the Listener. She has worked for most of the major New Zealand publishers, editing both fiction and non-fiction. Anna has also adapted books for radio and is a book reviewer and she is the author of eight non-fiction books, including While You’re Away:New Zealand Nurses at War 1899-1948, A Lucky Landing: The Story of the Irish in NewZealand and illustrated histories of Canterbury and the West Coast.”

Anna has judged for SIWA on several occasions and inevitably gives great feedback and great advice.  We always enjoy her visits and with her years of experience in the book world she is well worth listening to and learning from.

So come in numbers, bring your questions and  enjoy the  evening.

Talk from Rachel of Scorpio Books

At our July meeting – Thursday 12th to be precise – Rachel Eadie will be coming to talk to us. She is the manager of Scorpio Books and will be telling us about what books sell, how they are selected and other issues relating to her role. As there will also be time for questions, think about what you would like to know about running a bookshop and come prepared to ask.

We’re looking forward to having a full house for Rachel’s talk.  Who knows, you may get a tip that will result in your book being for sale at Scorpio one day. Oh and feel free to bring any writer friends you have to the meeting.


SIWA AGM about to happen

Each April SIWA holds its AGM. This year it’s scheduled for the 12th April.  If you’re a SIWA member don’t forget to turn up. It’s an interesting time: the new committee is elected, the competition schedule for the coming 12 months is made available, and reflections on the past year are shared.

This time important and exciting changes to the SIWA meetings will be announced. So come along, find out what’s in store and join in the discussions about this.