The Kaipukahu University of Waikato Writer in Residence

Each year the University of Waikato invites applications for the position of Writer in Residence, tenable for twelve months from early January.  The position is jointly funded by the University of Waikato and Creative New Zealand.  It is open to poets, novelists, short story writers, dramatists, and writers of serious non-fiction. The appointment is made on the basis of a record of publications of high quality, and on the strength of the residency proposal.

There are no teaching or lecturing duties attached to the award, the sole purpose of which is to give the Writer the freedom to write.  It is expected the Writer will participate in the cultural life of the University

Our name:  The late Ngāti Wairere elder Meto Hopa spoke of an ancient whare wānanga of Ngāti Wairere called Te Tiwhaopareiriwhare that stood on the ridge now known as Hillcrest Road, Hamilton East. According to Meto, the surrounding forest and swamp was called Kaipukahu for its abundance of foods – kai meaning food, and pukahu meaning abundant. Equally significant was the food for the soul, the food for the mind and the food for the heart spread and gathered at the whare wānanga Te Tiwhaopareiriwhare. The Kaipukahu University of Waikato residency for writers acknowledges the symbolism and mana of Kaipukahu, and the fact that the University of Waikato stands on the site of Te Tiwhaopareiriwhare.

Applications are to be made on the University of Waikato application form available from our website here

For more information, please contact Sarah Shieff (email [email protected]) or Catherine Chidgey (email [email protected])

2023 Writer in Residence - Anthony Byrt

Anthony Byrt
Anthony is one of New Zealand’s foremost contemporary art writers, writing for outlets such as Artforum, Metro and New Zealand Listener

Art critic and writer Anthony Byrt will devote the next 12 months to three major projects after being named the Kaipukahu University of Waikato Writer in Residence for 2023.

Between his time on campus, Anthony will spend time on the road with New Zealand artist Shane Cotton for his new book, begin his interview-based collaboration with painter Judy Millar at her West Auckland studio and launch into research about ‘The Forty Days’ - the standoff with New Zealand and Yugoslav forces over Trieste, Italy, in 1945.

“The plan with Shane is to drive around the upper North Island to key sites associated with his work, and I’ll be meeting with Judy every month or so to record conversations,” Anthony, 43, says.

“Hamilton is an ideal base for me, where I can have the time to consolidate and process the material I’ve gathered on the road. I’m also really looking forward to engaging with students and testing ideas with my colleagues at the University.”

Anthony’s been researching the Trieste stand-off for over a decade but says he didn’t have the time to put his findings into book form.

“It’s a huge privilege to have the time to take on projects I’ve been thinking about for a long time and really care about.

“The parts are in place, the people I need are in place, all I was missing was the time. Getting this gig at Waikato was key to attacking projects like this.”

Anthony lives in Mangawhai with his wife and son but returned to Hamilton - the city where his writing career began over 20 years ago - for the residency, jointly funded by the University and Creative New Zealand.

“While it’s ambitious to take on three projects in a year, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to contemplate that level of ambition without the support of the University.

“There are a limited number of residencies in the country with this length of time attached to them, so 12 months in an academic setting with research resources at my disposal is a super rare gift to be given.”

Anthony is one of New Zealand’s foremost contemporary art writers and has written for the world's leading art magazine, Artforum,  for over a decade. He has also written for outlets such as MetroNorth & South and the New Zealand Listener.

In 2013, Anthony was a Critical Studies Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, and in 2015 was New Zealand's Reviewer of the Year. He was also a Writer in Residence at the Michael King Writers' Centre in 2017, and joined the Centre's board in 2018.

His most recent book, The Mirror Steamed Over: Love and Pop in London, 1962 (2020) was longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards in 2021, and his first book, This Model World: Travels to the Edge of Contemporary Art (2016) was shortlisted in 2017.

The Mirror Steamed Over is an untold story of how a group of young outsiders reinvented art in the early 60s in London.

This Model World is a first-person travelling survey of contemporary art and is built around hundreds of hours spent in art galleries, artists’ studios and on the road from Brisbane to Detroit to Venice.

University of Waikato Creative Writing Senior Lecturer, Catherine Chidgey says Anthony is one of Aotearoa’s most esteemed non-fiction writers and the University is delighted to welcome him to campus.

“Anthony’s three fascinating projects promise an abundance of creative nourishment, and we’re excited to follow their growth over the course of his time with us,” Catherine says.

“One of the wonderful things about the residency is the opportunity it offers students to engage with some of our best practising writers; I know they will benefit in many ways from having a writer of Anthony’s calibre on campus."

Previous Writers in Residence

2022 Diana Clarke
2021 Michalia Arathimos
2020 Richard von Sturmer
2019 Rosetta Allan
2018 Therese Lloyd
2017 Bob Orr
2016 Steven Toussaint
2015 Mandy Hager
2014 Dr John Newton
2013 Professor Andrew Sharp
2012 Michael Morrissey
2011 Jeffrey Holman
2010 Albert Belz
2009 Catherine Chidgey
2008 Christopher Bourke
2007 Ken Catran
2006 Peter Wells
2005 Tina Shaw
2004 No appointment
2003 Mitch Thomas
2002 Kate Camp
2001 Anna Jackson
2000 John Dickson
1999 Beryl Fletcher
1998 Elspeth Sandys
1997 John Cranna
1996 John Pule
1995 Renee
1994 Michael King
1993 Mona Williams
1992 Maurice Shadbolt
1991 Tessa Duder