Rosetta Allan will take up the residency for 2019. Jointly funded by the University of Waikato and Creative New Zealand, the position is open to poets, novelists, short story writers, dramatists and writers of serious non-fiction. There are no teaching or lecturing duties attached to the award, the sole purpose of which is to give the post holder the freedom to write.

Her first poetry collection, Little Rock, was released in 2007, and her second volume, Over lunch, in 2010. Her poetry has appeared in publications and anthologies in New Zealand, Australia and the USA, and in online literary journals. Rosetta’s first novel, Purgatory, is based on the Otahuhu murders of 1865. Her second novel The Unreliable People will be published next year. It is set in both Russia and Kazakhstan, about a people called the Koryo-Saram (Soviet Korean) and their three-fold loss of cultural identity.

The Acting Dean of Arts and Social Sciences Professor Allison Kirkman says they are thrilled that Ms Allan has accepted the offer. “The range of her creative work, from poetry collections to novels, will enrich the cultural life for everyone in the School of Arts, as well as the wider University. This year the selection panel was faced with a very challenging task with a very strong field to choose from, and Rosetta should feel very proud that her application shone through.”

Rosetta says becoming 2019’s Writer in Residence is an honor. “I intend to use the year, not only focusing on my current novel, but also giving back to the community what experience and knowledge I have gained as a published author, as well as encouragement for young writers in the early stages of the same journey.”

Ms Allan was drawn to University of Waikato two years ago when she taught the Writing Historical Fiction paper for the School of Social Sciences. The beauty of the Hamilton Campus helped charm her, and the people were an extra bonus. Over the year, her new work will be on a more contemporary novel set in provincial New Zealand. “There are near-historical elements in the novel that are drawn into the period of the
Global Financial Crisis and the whip of its tail, like that of a comet that has left traces behind in the sky long after the comet has crashed to earth. This novel I have been thinking about for some years now, and it is already mapped out inside my head, so I have a feeling it won’t take me as long to write as The Unreliable People did.”

Rosetta will take up hew new role from February 2019.

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