Anne Kennedy

ANZL Member

Photo credit: Susanna Burton


Anne Kennedy is a poet, novelist and screenwriter. She has published ten books in the form of poetry collection, novel, novella or verse novel. Her work has been published in NZ Listener, Landfall, JAAM, Sport and Southerly (Australia) and Poetry (US). Reviewer Louise O’Brien wrote that her novel The Last Days of the National Costume (Allen & Unwin, 2013) ‘offers an irresistible combination of charm and wit…The wordplay is glorious and very playful indeed’. Describing The Darling North, a poetry collection, North & South wrote that the ‘whole volume sings with music’.

Anne’s accolades include the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement for Poetry (2021), the NZ Post Book Award for Poetry (2013), Montana NZ Book Award for Poetry (2004), and the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award (1984). The Last Days of the National Costume was shortlisted for the NZ Post Book Award for Fiction (2014). Screen credits include the adaptation, The Monkey’s Mask and Crush, co-written with director Alison Maclean. Anne was editor of Ika, co-editor of Trout, and has guest-edited Best NZ Poems, JAAM and Landfall. She taught fiction and screenwriting at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa and is now at Manukau Institute of Technology. In addition, Anne also taught on the Auckland Writers Festival Schools Mentoring Programme, and judged the 2016 National Schools Poetry Competition.

Anne has appeared in a variety of festival roles both nationally and internationally and was Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa (2006). She has been awarded the University of Auckland Literary Fellowship (1995), and Michael King Fellow at the University of Auckland (2014). In 2016 she became Writer-in-Residence at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington and in 2017 attended the Fall Residency at the University of Iowa International Writers Program.

The Ice Shelf (VUP, 2018), Anne’s latest novel, is an eco-comedy that explores the dangers of wasting love and other no-renewable resources.

Anne returns to the death of her brother and the world he inhabited in her poetry collection Moth Hour (AUP, 2019), a complex, ambitious piece of writing and a moving poetic engagement with tragedy. Moth Hour was shortlisted for the 2020 Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry.

In Anne’s recent poetry collection, The Sea Walks into a Wall  (AUP, 2021), the natural world around us hits back. Intelligent, playful, witty and innovative, these poems bite where it hurts. The Sea Walks into a Wall was shortlisted for the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Award for Poetry.




Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Auckland University Press author page

Victoria University Press author page


Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlist announced (Mar, 2022)

Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement for Poetry announcement (Nov, 2021)

Moth Hour: review (Oct, 2019)

Moth Hour:
Radio NZ interview in which Anne discusses her deeply personal poetry collection (Sept, 2019)

The Ice Shelf : Landfall Onlin
e review (March, 2019)

The Ice Shelf: ‘Book of the Week’ review (Jan, 2019)

The Ice Shelf:
NZ Poetry Shelf (Paula Green) review (Oct, 2018)

The Ice Shelf:
Radio NZ Nine to Noon review (Oct, 2018)
Interview in the New Zealand Listener (2013)

The Last Days of the National Costume:
Interview on Radio New Zealand (2013)

The Last Days of the National Costume:
Interview on Radio National Australia (2013)

The Darling North:
Interview on Radio New Zealand (2012)

New releases by Anne Kennedy

The Sea Walks into a Wall (poetry)

Published by Auckland University Press on October 14, 2021

Bibliography: Anne Kennedy



The Sea Walks into a Wall (Auckland UP, 2021)

Moth Hour (Auckland UP, 2019)

The Darling North (Auckland UP, 2012)

The Time of the Giants (Auckland UP, 2005)

Sing-Song (Auckland UP, 2003)



The Ice Shelf (VUP, 2018)

The Last Days of the National Costume (Allen & Unwin, 2013)

A Boy & His Uncle (Picador, 1998)

Musica Ficta (Illustrations by John Reynolds: University of Queensland Press & Auckland UP, 1993)

100 Traditional Smiles (Illustrations by Sally Rodwell, Novella: Victoria UP, 1988)

'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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