Ingrid Horrocks named as 2024 International Institute of Modern Letters Writer in Residence

Acclaimed memoirist, essayist, poet, and fiction writer Ingrid Horrocks has been appointed Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2024.

Ingrid Horrocks is sitting on the beach and smiling.

Dr Horrocks’ most recent book of essays, Where We Swim, was published internationally to rave reviews, with the Australian Book Review calling it ‘luminous’ and ‘a work of wondrous depth’. Her previous books include Travelling with Augusta, 1835 & 1999 (Victoria University Press), which was translated into Italian; Women Wanderers and the Writing of Mobility 1784–1814 (Cambridge University Press); and a book of poetry Mapping the Distance (VUP). Her essays, poems, short stories, and reviews have appeared in many places including The Guardian, LitHub, Landfall, Sport, and New Zealand Geographic.

Dr Horrocks has a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, and a PhD from Princeton University. She taught for many years at Massey University before resigning in 2022 to devote herself to writing full-time.

While holding the residency, Dr Horrocks will work on a book of eco-fiction tentatively titled Marvellous Instruments. Dr Horrocks says that the collection will explore the space between the novel and the short story. The work will allow Dr Horrocks to explore questions such as: ‘How do we write women’s lives?’ and ‘How might art help us live differently in relation to one another and to a world in crisis?’

Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters Damien Wilkins says, “Ingrid is a hugely accomplished writer across many genres. This extended foray into fiction looks like it will deliver very exciting work.”

Commenting on the appointment, Dr Horrocks says, “The trust placed in my writing means a huge amount, especially in times when we need to work hard to keep believing in the value of creative work. But stories—reading and writing them—remain my best tools for making sense of the world, as well as for imagining how it could work differently. I'm so excited to be part of the incredible IIML community.”

Dr Horrocks takes up the residency at the IIML on 1 February 2024.