Alison Wong

ANZL Member

Photo Credit: Nitch Photography


Poet and fiction writer Alison Wong is a fourth generation Chinese New Zealander living in Geelong, Australia. She has written a novel, poetry collection and been widely published in a multitude of journals and anthologies. The Irish Times described her prose as ‘delicately told…brilliantly plotted…there is an unusual intelligence about this subtle, crafted novel that forces one to stop and absorb the enormity of the smallest gesture.’ The New Zealand Poetry Society described her poetry as ‘filled with a resonant rich imagery, often connected to her Chinese/New Zealand roots’. Reviewer Margaret Christensen wrote: ‘she brings to her emotional references a wry ironic openness… Her mastery of the descriptive phrase, especially in natural settings, is excellent… Wong is a poet to be reckoned with’.­

Among Alison’s numerous accolades, her debut novel, As the Earth Turns Silver (Penguin, 2009; Picador, Australia, 2009 & UK, 2010) won the New Zealand Post Book Award for Fiction (2010), and was shortlisted for the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (2010). It was translated into French, Spanish and Polish. Alison’s poetry collection, Cup (Steele Roberts, 2006), was shortlisted for Best First Book for Poetry at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards (2007). Her poetry was selected for Best New Zealand Poems (2006, 2007 and 2015). She has also been the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the Robert Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago (2002).

Alison has a BSc in Mathematics from Victoria University of Wellington and is a graduate of Damien Wilkins’ Original Composition class. She spent several years in China and attended the Shanghai International Writers Programme (2014).

The recent anthology A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand (AUP, 2021) co-edited by Alison Wong and Paula Morris, is a landmark collection of poetry, fiction and essays by emerging writers and is the first-ever anthology of Asian New Zealand creative writing.  Alison is also working on a non-fiction book/memoir exploring her experience of Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia and China.


Books Alison likes to read...           Alison signing (image with thanks to Unity Books)




Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Penguin Books NZ author page


ANZL review of A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand (May, 2021)


New releases by Alison Wong

A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand (anthology)

Published by Auckland University Press on May 12, 2021

Bibliography: Alison Wong



Cup (Steele Roberts, 2006)



As the Earth Turns Silver …..(Penguin NZ, 2009; Picador Australia, 2009; Picador UK 2010; Bolinda audiobook,
…………………………………..2010. Translated into French (Les Amants Papillons, Liana Levi, 2009), Spanish …………………………………..(Cuando la Tierra se Vuelve de Plata, Siruela, 2011) & Polish (Gdy Srebrzy Sie Ziemia, …………………………………..Wydawnictwo Nasza Ksiegarnia, 2012)


Creative Nonfiction

Unidiversidad 21, 2015, Mexico – Un Nuevo Tipo de Road Movie Neo Zelandes (A New Kind of New Zealand Road Movie, trans. Spanish)

The Hours  (Shanghai International Writing Programme 2014)

Pure Brightness: Conversations with Ghosts Griffith Review Edition 43 (Pacific Highways, Australia)


Australian Poetry Journal (Volume 5, Issue 2, November 2015)

School Journal  (Level 4, October 2015)

Shanghai Weekly (arts journal, Shanghai – poem trans. Chinese, 27 October, 2014)

Vallejo & Co  (Peru – interview & poems trans. Spanish, 2014)

2000 (Hungary – poems trans. Hungarian, November 2014)

Next (January 2011)

New Zealand Listener (Jan 8-14, 2011; August 19-25, 2000; August 14-20, 1999)

International Literary Quarterly (Issue 12, August 2010)

Landfall (27 May 2009)

Blackmail Press (Issue 21 – Crossed Cultures, 2008)

Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (Hong Kong, Issue 5, Nov 2008)

Trout (2008)

Turbine (07, 2007)

JAAM (25, 2007)

Meanjin, Asian Edition

Deep South (2003)

Glottis (8, 2003)

Sport (27 Spring, 2001)

Frogpond (XXIV:I – Haiku Society of America International Edition, 2001)

Landfall (Novel extract: 200, Nov 2000)

Sport (Novel extract: 23 Spring 1999)

New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies (Vol 5, No. 2, 1999)

takahē (28, 1997)

Printout (Issue 11, Winter 1996)



150 Essential New Zealand Poems (Godwit, 2014)

Little Things: An Anthology of Poetry (Ethos Books, Singapore, 2013)

The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature (Novel extract: Auckland UP, 2012)

New Zealand’s China Experience (Novel extract & poems: Victoria UP, 2012)

Dear Heart: 150 New Zealand Love Poems (Godwit)

Localizing Asia in Aotearoa (Essay: Dunmore, 2011)

99 Ways into New Zealand Poetry (Vintage, 2010)

Our Own Kind: 100 New Zealand Poems About Animals (Godwit, 2009)

Swings & Roundabouts: Poems on Parenthood (Godwit, 2008)

Shards of Silver: New Zealand Poets on Photography (Steele Roberts, 2008)

Nurse to the Imagination: 50 Years of the Robert Burns Fellowship (Novel extracts: Otago UP, 2008)

Dear to Me: 100 New Zealanders Write About Their Favourite Poems (Random, 2007)

Best New Zealand Poems (Victoria UP, 2015, 2007, 2006)

Under Flagstaff: An Anthology of Dunedin Poetry (Otago UP, 2004)

Another 100 New Zealand Short Short Stories (Tandem, 1998)

Mutes & Earthquakes: Bill Manhire’s Creative Writing Course at Victoria (Poem: Victoria UP, 1997)

Various New Zealand Poetry Society Anthologies



A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand  (Auckland UP , May 2021)


'Novels stand outside time, with their narrative structure of beginning, middle and end. They outlast politics, which are by nature ephemeral, swift and changeable and can quickly become invisible, detectable only to the skilled eye. ' - Fiona Farrell

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