Therese Lloyd (Writing for the Page, 2006)

The beauty of the programme was that it gave me time; to read, write, edit, hone, cull, angst and finally to submit a manuscript-length collection of poems.

Therese writes: 'A healthy dose of deep-felt angst and insecurity about my poetry meant that I worked hard in my MA year. I took full advantage of the time, reading widely and writing assiduously, most of which thankfully never saw the light of day, but it all added to the wonderful sense of creative possibility. A deadline really is a great thing. It was liberating to spend a year being "allowed" to read and write. So often writing is relegated to late night scribbling or snatched at weekend offerings; and there's nothing wrong with that—some stunning writing has been produced under extreme time constraints (cliché or not, this scenario always brings to mind the image of Patricia Grace hunkered at the kitchen table writing novels with her seven children racing around her)—but it's hard to put together a cohesive body of work when every opportunity to write feels almost like starting afresh.

'The beauty of the MA programme was that it gave me time; a good chunk of considered time to read, write, edit, hone, cull, angst (that never went away I'm afraid) and finally to submit a manuscript-length collection of poems. I was lucky. I completed the MA in 2006 before the Key-led government abolished student allowances for postgraduate students. I feel deeply troubled for current postgrad students who have the enormous weight on their shoulders of the creative and academic work that they need to produce, on top of the paid work they have to do to survive. Egregiously short-sighted measures such as these will have a long-felt impact on New Zealand's creative and academic output. Even more reason why as creative writers we need to be brave, speak out, and vote.'

Bio: Therese's poems have appeared in print and online publications including Sport, Landfall, Hue & Cry, Jacket2, Metro, Turbine, and the AUP series New Zealand Poets in Performance, .

At the end of her MA in Creative Writing year she was awarded the programme's Schaeffer Fellowship to attend the acclaimed Iowa Writer's Workshop.

Her first full-length book of poetry, Other Animals , was published by Victoria University Press in 2013; the year she returned to commence a PhD Creative Writing at Victoria.

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