07 Apr 2010
William (Bill) Direen, a writer and well-known figure in New Zealand music circles, has been selected as the University of Auckland/Creative New Zealand six-month Writer-in-Residence;at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport from July this year.
Originally from Christchurch, Direen is currently living in Paris and has previously spent several years in Berlin. He is best known as a poet and musician, but he has also written theatre scripts, lyrics, stories, essays, short and long fiction. He has published extensively across all of these genres. His longer works have been experimental and are often trans-generic (making use of poetry, fiction, history, autobiography, mythology and monologue).
In 2006, Direen launched the annual international literary magazinePercutio, which is dedicated to aspects of the creative process and to works that bridge cultures.
While he is in Auckland he plans to work on a new trans-generic novel about an “expatriated” New Zealander who embarks on a journey from London back to New Zealand. It is the reverse of the journey of a character in his 2008 novel Enclosures. The residency is a partnership between The University of Auckland, Creative New Zealand and the Michael King Writers’ Centre. It aims to foster New Zealand writing by providing an opportunity for an established author to work full-time on a major project in an academic environment. The residency comes with a $30,000 stipend, together with free accommodation and a studio working space at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport, Auckland.