Pat White (Writing for the Page, 2009)
A year spent with like-minded writers, where work is discussed openly and you are challenged to extend your literary boundaries is an opportunity like no other.
Pat writes: 'I was selected, following my second application, for the 2009 MA Writing for the Page intake. I had a great time, ended up with a book and more importantly, ongoing friendships from an environment to return to – plus the memory of Chris Price my supervisor smiling at me and saying, "you could dig a little deeper here" while holding my writing in her hand. Maybe it is the digging deeper that uncovers the real stuff, causing us to grow as writers while we are at IIML within the supportive atmosphere that exists at 16 Waiteata Rd. An initial proposal to write poetry and short prose didn't last long. Instead, by October I'd written a selection of memoir essays demonstrating, if nothing more, a capacity for sustained work and the worth of trying something new.
'During the year I also managed to qualify for national superannuation, so feel qualified in saying "if you’ve got it in mind, have a go no matter what age you are". A year spent with like-minded writers, where work is discussed openly, books are talked about from many perspectives, and you are challenged to extend your literary boundaries is an opportunity like no other.'
Bio: A mixture of teaching, librarianship, farming a variety of itinerant jobs, plus decades of oil painting and poetry writing all precede Pat's arrival at the MA in Creative Writing. In 2006 he started fulltime university study, without a Bachelor's Degree after doing his first part-time papers in 1963. He emerged at the end of 2009 with a Master of Fine Arts from Massey and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Victoria, something that he says 'is still surprising'. Since finishing at Victoria, the MA essays have been published in How the Land Lies; of longing and belonging.
He received a residency at Robert Lord Cottage in Dunedin taken up within days of handing in his MA folio. He was awarded the 2010 Writing Residency at Randell Cottage in Wellington, where he worked on a memoir/life of West Coast author, teacher and environmentalist Peter Hooper.
In 2012 he held the Seresin Landfall Residency, spending six weeks in the Marlborough Sounds writing the draft of a novel, which now sits in a drawer awaiting treatment. In October 2013 he was the only New Zealander invited as a guest speaker at the Watermark Literary Muster held in Camden Haven, New South Wales.
Notes from the margins; the West Coast's Peter Hooper was published by Frontier Press in 2017.