Cilla McQueen

ANZL Member

Photo credit: Libby Furr

Poet, performer and artist Cilla McQueen has published 14 poetry collections to date during her impressive career. She has been the New Zealand Poet Laureate (2009–2011), and was presented the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry (2010). Three-time winner of the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry, her extensive list of accolades includes the PEN/Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry (1983), John Cowie Reid Memorial Prize for Poetry (1982), and Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Scholarship in Letters (1992). Her poetry, often laced with humour, explores such diverse themes as displacement, love, loss, colonisation and ideas of home, modern science and politics. Michael Harlow has described Cilla as ‘one of New Zealand’s most distinguished poets’. Regarding poetry and the readers of it, Cilla believes ‘awakening an interest in poetry means traversing that delicate ground between inner and outer self.’

Cilla graduated from the University of Otago with a Masters (first-class Hons) in 1971. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Literature, Otago University (2008). Amongst many residencies and fellowships, she has twice been the recipient of the Robert Burns Fellowship, Otago University (1985 and 1986) – the first female since Hulme in 1977 – awarded the Goethe Institut Scholarship, Berlin (1988), Tasmania Writer’s Residency, Hobart (1988), the Southland Art Foundation Artist in Residence (1999), Fulbright Visiting Writer’s Fellowship (1985), and was part of the inaugural Australia-New Zealand Writers’ Exchange Fellowship (1987). Her participation in festivals has been extensive, both nationally and internationally.

Her most recent collection, In a Slant Light – a Poet’s Memoir, was published by Otago University Press (2016). ‘The joy of writing a memoir,’ Cilla says, ‘is the wonderful sense of discovering the past as you go. Writing itself becomes an act of memory.’

Cilla lives in Bluff, New Zealand.

 

Links

New Zealand Book Council profile page

Otago University press author page

Cilla McQueen’s Poet Laureate page

NZ Electronic Poetry Centre author page and bibliography

Wikipedia

NZ Poetry Shelf interview (May, 2016)

Radio New Zealand review of In a Slant Light (March, 2016)

Bibliography: Cilla Mcqueen

 

Poetry

In a Slant Light: A Poet’s Memoir (Otago UP, 2016)

An Island (Mirrorcity Press, 2014)

Edwin’s Egg and other Poetic Novellas (Otago UP, 2014)

The Radio Room (Otago UP, 2010)

Serial (National Library Poet Laureate website, 2009-11)

A Wind Harp (Otago UP [compact disc], 2006)

Fire-penny (Otago UP, 2005)

Soundings (Otago UP, 2002)

Axis (Otago UP, 2001)

Markings (Otago UP, 2000)

Crikey (John McIndoe, 1993)

Berlin Diary (John McIndoe, 1990)

Benzina (John McIndoe, 1988)

Wild Sweets (John McIndoe, 1986)

Anti Gravity (John McIndoe, 1984)

Homing In (John McIndoe, 1982)

'I want you to think about what you would like to see at the heart of your national literature ' - Tina Makereti

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