Gregory Kan

ANZL Member

Gregory Kan is a poet, essayist and arts writer who has published two poetry collections. His first, This Paper Boat (Auckland UP, 2016) was shortlisted for the Kathleen Grattan Poetry Prize in 2013 and for the Best Poetry category at the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. This Paper Boat was written during his time at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. It follows the poet as he traces his own history through the lives and written fragments of Iris Wilkinson (aka Robin Hyde), his parents, and their parents, while examining the public and private rituals of institutions ranging from the military to the medical, and of communities, families and individuals. Gregory’s most recent collection Under Glass (Auckland University Press, 2019) is a dialogue between a series of prose poems, following a protagonist through a mysterious and threatening landscape, and a series of verse poems, driven by the speaker’s compulsive hunger to make sense of things.

Gregory completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Auckland in 2011 and in 2012 completed his Masters in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University Wellington. He won numerous awards during his study, including the Senior Prize in Philosophy in 2009 and the Senior Prizes in English and Philosophy in 2010 (University of Auckland), plus the Dominion Post Masters Thesis Scholarship and the IIML Jean Squire Project Scholarship in 2012 (Victoria University of Wellington). He has since been invited to various festivals including the Auckland Writers Festival and Asian Aotearoa Arts Huì.

He was a Grimshaw-Sargeson Fellow in 2017. His work has featured in literary journals such as Atlanta, ReviewCorditeJacketLandfallNew Zealand ListenerSPORT and Best New Zealand Poems, as well as art exhibitions, journals and catalogues. His poetry and essay works have also featured in exhibitions and publications for contemporary art institutions such as the Auckland Art Gallery, Artspace, the Adam Art Gallery, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, and the Physics Room.

Gregory currently lives in Wellington.



Gregory’s website

Auckland University Press author page

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer file

Interview with Cordite Review discussing poetry processes and inspiration, and freedom of expression (Nov, 2018)


'...we were there as faith-based writers, as believers in the mana of Oceania...' - David Eggleton

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