Dunedin author Diane Brown, who was recently named as the 2012 Janet Frame Memorial Award winner. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Dunedin-based poet and novelist Diane Brown plans to use the
prizemoney from the 2012 Janet Frame Memorial Award to write
a new collection of poetry.
Brown picked up $3000 with the award, announced recently.
The biennial Janet Frame Memorial Award is offered by the New
Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) from a bequest provided by
The Janet Frame Literary Trust to help a mid-career or
established author further their literary career.
''I am very pleased to get it,'' Brown said of the award.
''I am intending to work on a new collection of poetry, which
is a marginal form, so any support for that is very
This year, the award was hotly contested by a sizeable list
of applicants, judging panel convener Chris Else said.
The short list also included Riemke Ensing, Siobhan Harvey,
Jenny Powell, and Pat White, all of whom ''merited serious
Brown said her new collection would have a family-based theme
and the title Taking my Mother to the opera.
''What the award means is that I will not start teaching
again until almost the end of February and I can spend that
time without having to worry about an income ... spend my
time getting this collection together.''
When not writing, Brown teaches creative writing, previously
at Aoraki Polytechnic until its creative writing course was
closed, and now at her own school, Creative Writing Otago.
''The reality is for most writers that you cannot make a
living writing full-time, especially as a poet or a
novelist,'' she said.
With Creative Writing Otago, Brown teaches both in the
classroom and online, which together makes it feasible, she
''There are lots of people who are really keen to do creative
writing and want to do it with me. So I think it will go
well, but it will not make a fortune,'' she said.
Brown has previously published poetry collections and novels
and her writing has appeared in Landfall and the NZ Listener.
Brown has won writing competitions in New Zealand and the UK.
Before the Divorce We Go To Disneyland (1997) won the
NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award at the
1997 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. 8 Stages of
Grace (2002), a novel written in verse, was long-listed
for the Deutz Medal for Fiction in the Montana New Zealand
Book Awards 2003.
In 2006, Godwit published Brown's memoir and poetry
collection, Here comes another vital moment.