Vivienne Plumb

ANZL Member

Born in 1955, Dr Vivienne Plumb is of both Australian and New Zealand heritage. She is a Wellington-based writer producing fiction, poetry and drama and has published over fifteen books since she began writing in 1990. She has also written commissioned plays for Circa Theatre, the Auckland Theatre Company, and Young and Hungry Festival.

Vivienne has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award (1993), a J.D. Stout Fellowship (1994), the Hubert Church Prose Award (1994), the Sargeson Fellowship (2001), and a post-graduate scholarship at the University of Wollongong (2009-2012). She holds a Doctor of Creative Arts (University of Wollongong), an MA in Creative Writing (Victoria University), and a BA (Victoria University).

Vivienne has participated in a number of overseas literary festivals including Ireland, Slovenia, America, Australia and Greece. She has also been awarded a number of residencies, including an Iowa writing residency (2004), Varuna, Sydney (2005), Randell Cottage (2012), and writer-in-residence positions at Massey University (2006), Hong Kong Baptist University (2006) and University of Canterbury (2014). From July 2016, she will take up the writer-in-residence position at the University of Auckland. In 2017, Vivienne is one of a panel of three judging the poetry section of the prestigious Ockham Book Awards.

Vivienne’s play The Wife Who Spoke Japanese In Her Sleep, a collection of three playscripts by three New Zealand female playwrights, was launched November 2016.

Her latest book is As Much Gold as an Ass Could Carry (split|fountain, 2017).  This is a collection of previously published works (poetry, fiction, drama), in joint collaboration with the Auckland artist, Glenn Otto, and Auckland book designer and publisher, Layla Tweedie-Cullen.

Vivienne works as a full-time writer, and also mentoring and teaching creative writing students.



Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

New Zealand Society of Authors writer page


Seraph Press author page

Headworx Press author page

Otago University Press author page

Victoria University Electronic Text Collection

Playmarket  member page (lists Vivienne’s plays)

Vivienne on Vimeo

University of Iowa International Writing Programme author page

Bibliography: Vivienne Plumb



As Much Gold as an Ass Could Carry (split/fountain, 2017)

The Cheese and Onion Sandwich and other New Zealand Icons (Seraph Press, 2011)

Crumple (Seraph Press, 2010)

From Darkness to Light (series of 27 poems about the Kerikeri Mission House, N.Z. Historic Places Trust, Kerikeri, 2007)

Doppelgänger (chapbook of poems in English/Polish translation with the Polish poet, Adam Wiedemann; Earl of Seacliffe Workshop mini-series, Paekakariki, 2006)

Scarab: a poetic documentary (chapbook of linked poems, Seraph Press, 2005)

Nefarious, poems and parables (Headworx, 2004)

Avalanche (Pemmican Press, 2000)

Salamanca (Headworx, 1998)



As Much Gold as an Ass Could Carry (split/fountain, 2017)

The Glove Box (Short stories: Spineless Wonders, Sydney, [also available as an e-book], 2014)

Secret City (Cape Catley Press, 2003)

The Diary as a Positive in Female Adult Behaviour (novella: Headworx, 1999)

The Wife Who Spoke Japanese In Her Sleep (Short stories: Otago UP, 1993)



Leaving the Red Zone (Clerestory Press, 2016)

‘The Cape’ trans. Polish in Dwa Oceany (published as Wioletta Perzanowska, ADiT, Warsaw, 2013)

Lady Luck: Conversations with Creative N.Z. Women (Lark Press, 2013)

150 New Zealand Love Poems (Godwit, 2012)

The Best of the Best New Zealand Poems (VUP, 2011)

Moonlight: NZ Poems on Death and Dying (Godwit, 2008)

Contemporary N.Z Poets in Performance  (AUP, 2007)

The Myth of the 21st Century (Reed, 2006)

121 New Zealand Poems (Godwit, 2005)

the cat’s whiskers  (Random, 2005)

It Looks Better on You (Longacre, 2003)

An Affair of the Heart (Cape Catley, 2003)

The Best Australian Poetry 2003 (Univ Queensland Press, 2003)

Essential N.Z. Stories (Random, 2002)

Spectacular Babies (Flamingo, 2001)

Essential N.Z. Poems (Godwit,2001)

Big Weather (Mallinson Rendell, 2000)

New Zealand Love Poems (Oxford University Press, 2000)

How You Doing? (Lincoln University Press, 1998)

Antipodean Tales (IPL Books, 1996)

Beethoven’s Ears (Longman, 1996)

Rutherford’s Dreams (IPL Books, 1995)

Sevensome (Poetry, with six other female poets: Calliope Press, 1993)

The Oxford Book of New Zealand Short Stories (Oxford Univ Press, 1992)

Vital Writing 3 (Godwit, 1992)

Between These Hills (Anthology featuring ten new Wellington writers: Victoria UP, 1991)

‘Inspiration is the name for a privileged kind of listening.’ - John Howard

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