Island to Island residents, L-R - essa may ranapiri (Ngaati Raukawa ki te Tonga, Te Arawa, Ngaati Puukeko, Clan Gunn) and Jenni Fagan (Scotland).

The British Council New Zealand and the Pacific is pleased to support Verb Wellington, Te Whanganui-a-tara, Aotearoa New Zealand, and Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s’ Creative Writing Centre, in a new residency exchange for writers working in creative non-fiction, fiction or long-form poetry. Over 75 applications were received for the inaugural Island to Island residency exchange, offered in collaboration with Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The successful applicant from Aotearoa is poet essa may ranapiri (Ngaati Raukawa ki te Tonga, Te Arawa, Ngaati Puukeko, Clan Gunn). They have two collections of poetry ransack (2019) and ECHIDNA (2022) both published by Te Herenga Waka University Press. In 2023 ranapiri was the recipient of the Janet Frame Poetry Award and the inaugural Keri Hulme Award. They are co-editor of the literary journal Kupu Toi Takataapui with Michelle Rahurahu.

The successful applicant from Scotland is Jenni Fagan, a poet, novelist and screenwriter, who has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She was selected as one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists after the publication of her debut novel, The Panopticon (2012), which was shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and the James Tait Black Prize. The Sunlight Pilgrims (2016), her second novel, was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Encore Award and the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year Award, and saw her win Scottish Author of the Year at the Herald Culture Awards. In 2022, Polygon published her most recent novel, Hex, and The Bone Library, a new poetry collection written during her time as a Writer in Residence at the Dick Vet Bone Library.

Ranapiri will travel to Scotland to join Fagan in an associated event at Edinburgh International Book Festival, before travelling to Moniack Mhor for a three-week residency. Fagan will travel to Aotearoa in October to take up a two-week residency in Wellington, and appear in an event with ranapiri at Verb Readers & Writers Festival.

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