Sue Wootton

ANZL Member

Photo credit: Doug Lilly

Sue Wootton grew up in Whanganui and Wellington and lives now in Dunedin. Her work has been widely published and anthologised in New Zealand and internationally. She was the 2008 Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago, and was awarded the 2012 NZSA Mid-Career Award and the 2018 NZSA Beatson Fellowship. She has won the NZ Poetry Society International Competition, the Takahe International Poetry Competition and the Caselberg International Poetry Prize, and has been runner-up, or listed for, a range of other literary awards including the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Short Story Competition, the Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize, the University of Canberra Vice Chancellor’s Prize, the International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, and the Landfall essay competition.

Her debut novel, Strip (Mākaro Press), was longlisted for the Acorn fiction prize in the 2017 Ockham NZ Book Awards. Writing for Landfall Review Online, Tina Shaw called Strip  ‘a smart, sexy, quietly subversive novel from an author who totally knows what she is doing.’

Sue’s fifth poetry collection, The Yield (Otago University Press) was a finalist in the 2018 poetry category of the Ockham NZ Book Awards. Of the poems in this collection, Liz Breslin wrote, in Landfall Review Online: ‘They are prisms. Prisms of place, prisms of worship, of wonder, of family, of oddities of language, of dead friends remembered, of – among other things – life, the universe and moonbathing.’

A physiotherapist-turned-writer, Sue is a PhD candidate at the University of Otago, researching the importance of literature to a holistic view of health and wellbeing. She edits a Health Humanities e-magazine called Corpus: Conversations about Medicine and Life, teaches creative writing in schools, universities and community settings. She is working on a novel about a family affected by the 1948 polio epidemic.

Sue was the 2020 recipient of the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship in Menton, France. She is currently working on her sixth poetry collection.



Sue Wootton’s website

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Otago Daily Times review of Strip (March, 2019)

National Poetry Day interview as Ockham award finalist (Aug, 2018)

Booksellers NZ review of The Yield (March, 2018)

Takahe review of The Yield (Dec, 2017)

Landfall review of The Yield (Oct, 2017)

Otago Daily Times interview and reading from The Yield (Aug, 2017)

NZ Review of Books review of Strip (May, 2017)

Critic review of The Yield (May, 2017)

Takahe review of Strip (April, 2017)

Landfall review of Strip (April, 2017)

NZ Poetry Shelf interview (March, 2017)

Down in Edin interview discussing The Yield, the writing process and Corpus (Jan, 2017)

Radio NZ review of Strip (Nov, 2016)

Otago Daily Times review of Strip (Nov, 2016)

Scoop News feature article on Strip (Oct, 2016)

Bibliography: Sue Wootton



The Yield (Otago University Press, 2017)

Out of Shape (Canberra: Ampersand Duck [letter press limited edition], 2012)

By Birdlight (Steele Roberts, 2011)

Magnetic South (Steele Roberts, 2008)

Hourglass (Steele Roberts, 2005)



Strip (Makaro Press, 2016)

The Happiest Music on Earth (Short stories, e-book: Rosa Mira, 2012))


Anthologies & Journals

Essays, poetry and fiction published by (among others):

Auckland University Press,

Massey University Press

Penguin-Random House

Rosa Mira Press

Hippocrates Press

'Does historical fiction allow an escape from reality or promote a confrontation with it?' - Thom Conroy

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