Ursula Bethell Residency in Creative Writing

Supported by funding from Creative New Zealand

About Ursula Bethell

Ursula Bethell portrait Ursula Mary Bethell (1874–1945) was a Surrey-born, Christchurch-based poet and artist. Ursula spent many of her days travelling between the two locations before settling down in Rise Cottage on the Cashmere Hills. Bethell's early works were published under the pseudonym Evelyn Hayes. The first of Bethell's collections, From a Garden in the Antipodes , is her best-known work, but Time and Place (Caxton, 1936) was her most valued: a compilation of poetry in memory of Bethell's close friend Effie Pollen. Ursula Bethell, recognised as one of the pioneers of modern New Zealand poetry, passed away in Christchurch on the 15th January 1945 at age 71.

History of the Residency

The Ursula Bethell Residency in Creative Writing, jointly funded by the University of Canterbury College of Arts and Creative New Zealand, was established by the University of Canterbury in 1979 to provide support for New Zealand writers and foster New Zealand writing. The Residency allows authors of proven merit in all areas of literary and creative activity an opportunity to work on an approved project within an academic environment. Since its inception the University has been home to 40 fiction-writers, poets and dramatists, a number of whom have made a valuable contribution to the development of young writers studying at the University. We have also had the opportunity to celebrate the successes of our Residents throughout the years, one of the most memorable being Keri Hulme's Booker Prize in 1985.

Writers in residence 2016:

David Howard

Born in New Zealand, David Howard co-founded Takahe magazine (1989) and the Canterbury Poets Collective (1990). He spent his professional life as a pyrotechnics supervisor whose clients included the All Blacks, Janet Jackson and Metallica. In 2003 David retired to Purakaunui in order to write: 'The rural hinter is perfect for this; by getting clear of the social whirl you realise what matters is the dirt under your fingernails.' He took 35 years to complete The Incomplete Poems (Cold Hub Press, 2011), then collaborated with the artist Peter Ransom on You Look So Pretty When You’re Unfaithful to Me (Holloway Press, 2012), and edited A Place To Go On From: the Collected Poems of Iain Lonie (Otago University Press, 2015). His poems have been set by the composers Marta Jirackova (Czech Republic), Brina Jez (Slovenia) and Johanna Selleck (Australia). He has received the New Zealand Society of Authors Mid-Career Writers’ Award (2009), the University of South Pacific Poetry Prize (2011), the Robert Burns Fellowship (2013), the Otago Wallace Residency (2014), and a UNESCO City of Literature Residency in Prague (2016).

Postal address for the Ursula Bethell Writers in residence:

English Programme
School of Humanities
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch, New Zealand

Former Writers in Residence:

Coral Atkinson/Nick Gibb (2015)
Frankie McMillan/Vivienne Plumb (2014)
Geoff Chapple/John Pule (2013)
Helen Lowe/David Eggleton (2012)
Graeme Tetley/Eleanor Catton (2011)
Tusiata Avia (2010)
Victor Rodger (2009)
Rachael King (2008)
Philip Norman (2007)
Carl Nixon (2006)
Charlotte Randall (2005)
Graham Linsday (2004)
Catherine Chidgey/Gavin Bishop (2003)
Apirana Taylor (2002)
James Brown (2001)
Stuart Hoar (2000)
Norman Bilbrough (1999)
Alan Brunton (1998)
Brian Turner (1997)
Hone Kouka (1996)
Michelanne Forster (1995)
Kate Flannery (1994)
Sue McCauley (1993)
Fiona Farrell (1992)
Bernadette Hall (1991)
Mervyn Thompson (1990)
Kim Eggleston/Gary Langford (1989)
Brian McNeill (1988)
Mike Johnson (1987)
Kevin Ireland/Rachel McAlpine (1986)
Graham Billing/Keri Hulme (1985)
Margaret Mahy (1984)
Murray Edmond (1983)
Barry Mitcalfe (1982)
Owen Marshall (1981)
Jennifer Compton (1980)
Michael Morrissey (1979)