Monday

Edited: Coursebooks, Monographs & Theses


Contents:

    Coursebooks:

  1. The Writing Skills Workshop. Video/Workbook written and presented by Jack Ross, produced by Robert van der Vyver (Otago University: Higher Education Development Centre, 2001) 48 pp. [77 mins].
  2. 139.107: Written Communication Coursebook, ed. Janet Holst & Karen Rhodes, revised by Jack Ross (College of Humanities and Social Sciences / School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2003).
  3. 139.226: Life Writing – Supplemental Readings (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2004).
  4. 139.123: Creative Writing – Supplementary Readings: Poetry / Prose (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2005).
  5. 139.123: Creative Writing – Administration Guide / Book of Readings (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2006).
  6. 139.326: Travel Writing – Administration Guide / Book of Readings / Lecture Notes (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2007).
  7. 139.795: Recent Poets and Fiction in New Zealand – Administration Guide / Book of Readings (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2008).
  8. ENG 220 / 356: Novels since 1900 – Administration Guide (Auckland University: English Department, 2008).
  9. 139.226: Life Writing – Administration Guide / Book of Readings (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2009).
  10. 139.750: Contemporary NZ Writers in an International Context – Administration Guide / Poetry Anthology / Lecture Notes (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2009).
  11. 139.329: Advanced Fiction Writing – Administration Guide / Book of Readings / Lecture Notes (Massey University: School of English and Media Studies, 2017).
  12. 139.765: New Directions in Creative Writing: [with A/Prof Ingrid Horrocks] Block 2: Creative Nonfiction – Assessment Guide / Book of Readings / Lecture Notes (Massey University: School of English and Media Studies, 2018).

  13. Monographs:

  14. Rowan McCormick, Writers of Passage. Edited by Jack Ross. Preface by Mary Paul, with an Afterword by Eleanor Rimoldi. Social and Cultural Studies, 9. ISSN 1175-7132. Auckland: Massey University, 2008. ii + 70 pp.

  15. Thesis Supervisions:

  16. Gregory Wood, Revisiting James Cowan: A Reassessment of The New Zealand Wars (1922-23). A Thesis Presented in Fulfilment of the Requirement for the Degree of Master of Philosophy in English at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand. Auckland: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2010. 107 pp. [Primary supervisor, with Professor Michael Belgrave as Co-supervisor].
  17. Matthew Harris, Metafiction in New Zealand from the 1960s to the present day. A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English. Massey University, Albany, New Zealand. Auckland: School of English and Media Studies, 2012. 228 pp. [Co-supervisor, with Dr Mary Paul as Primary].
  18. Anna Leclercq, Fiona Kidman, Writer: A Feminist Critique of New Zealand Society. A Thesis Presented in Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in English Literature at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand. Auckland: School of English and Media Studies, 2012. 147 pp. [Dual supervision, with Dr Mary Paul].
  19. Annabel Wilson, From Aspiring to Paradise: the South Island Myth and its Enemies / Aspiring Daybook. A Thesis Presented in Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Creative Writing at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand. Auckland: School of English and Media Studies, 2014. 101 pp. [Sole supervision].
  20. Sarah Jane Barnett, Nature, Fidelity, and the Poetry of Robert Hass / Crow Experiments. A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English. Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Wellington: School of English and Media Studies, 2014. vi + 190 pp. [Co-supervisor, with A/Prof Bryan Walpert as Primary].
  21. Aleksandra Lane, Bridging the Gap between Traditional and Experimental Poetry: Dramatic Monologue and Dramatic Lyric in Contemporary New Zealand Poetry / Some Other Europe. A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English. Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington: School of English and Media Studies, 2014. 116 + 71 pp. [Primary supervisor, with Dr Ingrid Horrocks as Co-supervisor].
  22. Johanna Emeney, Biomedical Discourse and the Discourse of the Lifeworld in Contemporary New Zealand Poetry on a Medical Theme / Family History. A Thesis Submitted to Massey University, Albany, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English, 2015. vi + 256 pp. [Co-supervisor, with A/Prof Bryan Walpert as Primary].







[2018]: 139.765: New Directions in Creative Writing: [with A/Prof Ingrid Horrocks] Block 2: Creative Nonfiction – Assessment Guide / Book of Readings / Lecture Notes (Massey University: School of English and Media Studies, 2018).




Online Text:

Lectures







[2017]: 139.329: Advanced Fiction Writing – Administration Guide / Book of Readings / Lecture Notes (Massey University: School of English and Media Studies, 2017).




Online Text:

Course website






Jo Emeney: Apple and Tree (2011)

[2015]: Johanna Emeney, Biomedical Discourse and the Discourse of the Lifeworld in Contemporary New Zealand Poetry on a Medical Theme / Family History. A Thesis Submitted to Massey University, Albany, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English, 2015. vi + 256 pp. [Co-supervisor, with A/Prof Bryan Walpert as Primary].


Reviews & Comments:

  1. Professor Marlena Kruger, Chair, Doctoral Research Committee, Massey University. [18/9/15]:

    "Dear Johanna,

    Congratulations on completing all the requirements for the award of a PhD from Massey University for your thesis entitled ‘Biomedical Discourse and the Discourse of the Lifeworld in Contemporary New Zealand Poetry on a Medical Theme.’

    I want to especially congratulate you on producing a thesis of such high quality that your examiners recommended it goes on the Dean of Graduate Research School’s ‘List of Exceptional Theses’. To gain a place on the 'Dean's List' a doctoral thesis has to meet very stringent criteria. It has to be submitted on time, and in each case all three examiners must agree that the thesis is of exceptional quality in every respect, including research and analytical content, originality, quality of expression, accuracy of presentation and contribution to knowledge in the field. Your thesis was considered by the examiners to be among the top ten percent they had examined in their respective fields.

    Your examiners used such phrases as:
    'Overall Johanna Emeney’s thesis coalesces into a unified and insightful work consisting of important scholarship in contemporary poetics and a substantial collection of poetry in Family History'
    and
    'It has been a pleasure and an honour to read this outstanding thesis. The project, in the increasingly fruitful domain of creative work around sickness and medicine, was extraordinarily well conceived.'
    and
    'This thesis succeeds magnificently in illuminating an important slice of the work of a group of contemporary New Zealand poets ...'
    This achievement will be noted on your academic transcript and will soon appear on the Research Management Services webpage. You may cite it as evidence of ‘peer esteem’ and research attainment, and will subsequently receive a certificate acknowledging the placement of your thesis on the ‘Dean’s List’.

    For the significant contribution to knowledge that you have been judged to make in your field, I would like to convey my sincere compliments to you and your supervisors.

    May the satisfactions and rewards of the research you have now completed remain with you and provide the basis of a most successful future."



  2. A/Prof Joe Grixti, "Dean of Graduate Research School’s ‘List of Exceptional Theses’", Email to School of English and Media Studies Staff [22/9/15]:

    Dear Colleagues,

    I am delighted to announce that Jo Emeney’s PhD thesis has gone on the Dean of Graduate Research School’s ‘List of Exceptional Theses’. This is an outstanding achievement: it will be noted on Jo’s academic transcript as well as appearing on the Research Management Services webpage.

    To receive the Dean’s Award a doctoral thesis has to meet very stringent criteria. It has to be submitted on time, and in each case all three examiners must agree that the thesis is of exceptional quality in every respect, including research and analytical content, originality, quality of expression, accuracy of presentation and contribution to knowledge in the field.

    Jo’s thesis (entitled ‘Biomedical Discourse and the Discourse of the Lifeworld in Contemporary New Zealand Poetry on a Medical Theme’) was considered by the examiners to be among the top ten percent they had examined in their respective fields.

    Warm congratulations to Jo on this great achievement. Congratulations also to Bryan Walpert and Jack Ross who clearly were nothing short of outstanding as Jo’s supervisors.

    Best,
    Joe.



Johanna Emeney: Family History (2017)







Aleksandra Lane (2012)

[2014]: Aleksandra Lane, Bridging the Gap between Traditional and Experimental Poetry: Dramatic Monologue and Dramatic Lyric in Contemporary New Zealand Poetry / Some Other Europe. A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English. Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington: School of English and Media Studies, 2014. vi + 190 pp. [Primary supervisor, with Dr Ingrid Horrocks as Co-supervisor].




Aleksandra Lane: Birds of Clay (2012)


Reviews & Comments:

  1. Associate Professor Tracey Riley, Chair, Doctoral Research Committee, Massey University. [12/1/15]:

    "... To gain a place on the 'Dean's List' a doctoral thesis has to meet very stringent criteria. It has to be submitted on time, and in each case all three examiners must agree that the thesis is of exceptional quality in every respect, including research and analytical content, originality, quality of expression, accuracy of presentation and contribution to knowledge in the field. Your thesis was considered by the examiners to be among the top ten percent they had examined in their respective fields.

    Your examiners used such phrases as:
    '... an evocative, sustained and often brilliant exploration of the practices outlined in the critical section'
    and
    'Lane's work is polished and virtuosic in its performance.'
    and
    '... the candidate's critical acumen and control, combined with a naturally profound poetic insight and response.'
    ...

    For the significant contribution to knowledge that you have been judged to make in your field, I would like to convey my sincere compliments to you and your supervisors."

  2. Jo Ervine, "Dr Aleksandra Lane – Dean’s Award Recipient!", School of English and Media Studies blog [16/1/15]:

    The School of English and Media Studies could not be prouder of Aleksandra Lane, who has not only just had confirmed the award of PhD for her thesis titled “Bridging the Gap Between Traditional and Experimental Poetry: Dramatic Monologue and Dramatic Lyric in Contemporary New Zealand Poetry,” but has been nominated by all three examiners for the Dean of Graduate Research School’s ‘List of Exceptional Theses’. The examiners used such phrases as: “an evocative, sustained and often brilliant exploration of the practices outlined in the critical section,” “polished and virtuosic in its performance,” and “the candidate’s critical acumen and control [are] combined with a naturally profound poetic insight and response”. Aleksandra was supervised by Dr Jack Ross and Dr Ingrid Horrocks. Congratulations Dr Lane, this recognition that your thesis is “of exceptional quality in every respect, including research and analytical content, originality, quality of expression, accuracy of presentation and contribution to knowledge in the field” is richly deserved.






Robert Hass (2012)

[2014]: Sarah Jane Barnett, Nature, Fidelity, and the Poetry of Robert Hass / Crow Experiments. A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English. Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Wellington: School of English and Media Studies, 2014. vi + 190 pp. [Co-supervisor, with A/Prof Bryan Walpert as Primary].


Reviews & Comments:



    [Sarah Jane Barnett: Work (2015)]

  1. Sarah Jane Barnett, Work (Auckland: Hue and Cry Press, 2015):

    Dedication:
    For Bryan and Jack,
    and for Chloe
    Acknowledgements:
    This book is dedicated to my doctoral supervisors Bryan Walpert and Jack Ross for their incredible support, wisdom, and friendship. Thank you.






Brian Brake: Aspiring (1949)

[2014]: Annabel Wilson, From Aspiring to Paradise: the South Island Myth and its Enemies. A critical and creative investigation into the deconstruction of Aotearoa's Lakes District / Aspiring Daybook. A Thesis Presented in Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Creative Writing at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand. Auckland: School of English and Media Studies, 2014. 101 pp. [Sole supervision].


Reviews & Comments:



    Annabel Wilson: No Science to Goodbye (2017)

  1. Annabel Wilson, No science to Goodbye - a theatrical poem (Radio New Zealand, 3 May-2 June 2017):

    Elsie is a tempestuous young expat who returns to Wanaka from Berlin to look after her terminally ill brother, Sam. She runs into her former lover Frank who is now a glaciologist – a coolly logical and rational scientist. The ensuing complications push them to the torn edges of love, loss, risk.

    The Southern Alps are as rugged and complex and as painfully beautiful as the relationships that form and melt under their gaze.

    Written by Annabel Wilson

    Directed by KJ Smith

    Soundscape by Cory Champion

    For RNZ - Recording director Adam Macaulay

    Sound engineer Darryl Stack



    [Annabel Wilson: No Science to Goodbye (2017)]

  2. Annabel Wilson, No science to Goodbye / Todo Verano (Te Pou Theatre, 14-17 March 2018):



    Annabel Wilson: From Wanaka to Auckland via Ibiza:
    A duo of new shows for Te Pou theatre
    (2018)


    A pair of plays exploring people and place for upcoming Rangatahi season


    Fledgling production company Goya theatre has teamed up with AAWP Emerging Writer's prize recipient Annabel Wilson and director Fiona Armstrong to present No Science To Goodbye and its prequel Todo Verano at Auckland’s Te Pou theatre this March. A collaboration between writer, director and ensemble cast drawn largely from The Actors’ Programme, stitching together the two works for a four night season is the creative vision for the piece. Allowing audiences to be immersed firstly in a love story set in Wanaka, then flashing back to seven years earlier on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, the project is all about distance and connection. Exploring the relationship between people and place, both plays raise questions about home and self; what it means to leave and what it means to stay.

    Following the sell-out success of No Science To Goodbye at the Festival of Colour and at BATS theatre last year, Wilson began developing Todo Verano during a three week residency at the Robert Lord Writer's Cottage over summer 2017/18. Director Fiona Armstrong joined the project as the pair dreamed up a double-billing of both works shown together. For this season, the 'Wanaka play’ will be followed by a showing of moments from when a younger, backpacking Elsie travels to Ibiza. Her journey is a passionate pilgrimage, and begins to riff on the experience of other artists, writers and exiles who have summered on the white isle. Like them, Elsie wonders where home is, and will she ever return?

    With original sound design by Barratt Henry and featuring music from “the godfather of the Balearic sound”, DJ Jon Sa Trinxa, the Ibiza play’s soundscapes underscore the island world. Like current ‘spin-off’ TV shows trending now, Todo Verano is an experiment with fractured form.

    No Science To Goodbye was first performed to sold out audiences at the Festival of Colour and at BATS in 2017. The mountain landscape of the Southern Lakes looms large in this work, in which music and poetry underscore a trio of unravelling lives. Elsie (Savannah Harris) is a tempestuous young expat who returns to Wanaka to look after her terminally ill brother, Sam (Travis Graham). She runs into her former lover Frank (Frank Borrell) who is now a glaciologist – a coolly logical and rational scientist. The ensuing complications push them to the torn edges of love, loss, risk. As the play's mentor, Gary Henderson explains: "With simple evocative strokes, Annabel Wilson's lyrical script carries us into a breathtaking physical and emotional landscape, and holds us there."

    No Science To Goodbye and Todo Verano
    March 14 - 17, Te Pou theatre, Auckland.
    Cast and crew:
    Elsie - Savannah Harris (Earthquakes in London)
    Frank - Frank Borrell (Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Resolve)
    Sam - Travis Graham (The Tempest, Earthquakes in London)
    Zara - Albertine Jonas (Like There's No Tomorrow, Dirty Laundry)
    Janet Frame - Nadine Kemp (Urban Heart Productions)
    Cory - Daniel Goodwin (RADA, Merchant of Venice)
    The Exiles - Tessa Livingston (Earthquakes in London), Poppy Stowell (Earthquakes in London)
    Produced & designed by Jonathan James (Goya Theatre).



    [Annabel Wilson: No Science to Goodbye / Todo Verano (2018)]

  3. Annabel Wilson, Aspiring Daybook: The Diary of Elsie Winslow (Wellington: Mākaro Press, 2018):



    Annabel Wilson: Aspiring Daybook (2018)

    Aspiring Daybook


    ISBN 978-0-9951092-3-0
    Poetry
    Paperback, 150x190mm with flaps, 128pp
    Release May 2018

    In Aspiring Daybook, poet Annabel Wilson tells of a year in the life of Elsie Winslow, who has just returned from Europe to Wānaka to take care of her terminally ill brother and finds herself thinking about love in ways she didn’t expect.

    Like the mountains that surround her and the lake that greets her every morning with a different face, Elsie’s story is a fractured, sedimentary and reflective thing, exploring the hidden darkness inside the beauty that is everywhere.

    Elsie’s story is told in the form of a diary packed with poems, snapshots, conversations and letters. The result is an immersive, genre-bending book that shines with a particular light only found in the deep South.

    On your side, twilight bathes paddocks Steinlager-green all the way to those wedding cake Hawkduns, the white crown in the distance. The human need to see shapes in things: a rock that looks like a wing. We carry on, not speaking. We carry on not speaking. You know I want to ask you something.


    About the author:

    Annabel Wilson is a writer from Wānaka, living in Christchurch. Her work has been published in journals in New Zealand and overseas. She has been awarded the R A K Mason Fellowship at NZ Pacific Studio, the inaugural Australasian Association of Writers’ Programmes Emerging Writers’ Prize and a residency at the Robert Lord Writers’ Cottage. Annabel has a Masters in Creative Writing from Massey University. She also runs an NZ arts, adventure and culture guide at onmag.co.nz.


  4. Scoop Media: Media Press Release (20/6/18):





    Annabel Wilson: Aspiring Daybook (2018)

    Press Release: Fiction first for aspiring writer


    For Immediate Release:

    Fiction first for aspiring writer

    High school teacher and part-time poet Annabel Wilson has won the Mountain or Adventure Fiction and Poetry prize at the NZ Mountain Book and Film Festival for her genre-busting book Aspiring Daybook: The Diary of Elsie Winslow.

    The work, which was published this year, presents reflections of a year in the life of Elsie Winslow and her return to Wanaka from Europe to take care of her terminally ill brother. The innovative style of writing melds the mood of the mountains and lake with the stormy nature of the mind. Annabel crafts the tale through poetry, prose, notes, emails, Facebook chats and journal entries. She will also be reading from her book at this year’s NZMFF Words and Wine event in Wanaka on Sunday 1 July.

    "I feel humbled and honoured to receive this award. The NZ Mountain Book and Film Festival is a world-class event, bringing big names and amazing stories to our community and it's exciting just to be part of it,” Annabel said.

    “Having the Aspiring Daybook recognised by the Festival in this way is affirming and inspiring. As it's a cross-genre work, it doesn't fall neatly into any traditional categories, so the fact that the judges connected with the style and the story is really encouraging.”

    The poems in Aspiring Daybook, which was published this year by M?karo Press, were also the seed material for Annabel’s play No Science to Goodbye, which premiered last year at the Festival of Colour in Wanaka, and has subsequently had seasons at BATS and Te Pou theatre, as well as being recorded for RNZ’s Live On Stage Now! Initiative.

    The Mountain or Adventure Fiction and Poetry category, which comes with a $250 prize for the winner, included fiction and poetry with narratives about climbing and mountaineering, adventure sports, exploration and mountain culture.

    The judges were Dave Vass, Joanne Waide and Dr Simone Celine Marshall. Head judge Dave Vass said he enjoyed the judging process. “I was entertained, informed, moved and taken places. Although all the books reflected it to some extent, the winners in particular were real celebrations of adventure; the ways we feel about it and the way the outdoors is woven into our lives.”

    Annabel was previously awarded the RAK Mason Fellowship at NZ Pacific Studio, the Australian Association of Writers’ Programmes Emerging Writer’s Prize and a residency at the Robert Lord Writers’ Cottage.

    Aspiring Daybook is available from all good New Zealand bookstores and online from Mākaro Press.






Dame Fiona Kidman (b. 1940).
Photograph: Kevin Stent (2009)

[2012]: Anna Leclercq, Fiona Kidman, Writer: A Feminist Critique of New Zealand Society. A Thesis Presented in Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in English Literature at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand. Auckland: School of English and Media Studies, 2012. 147 pp. [Dual supervision, with Dr Mary Paul].







Dr Matthew Harris (2012)

[2012]: Matthew Harris, Metafiction in New Zealand from the 1960s to the present day. A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English. Massey University, Albany, New Zealand. Auckland: School of English and Media Studies, 2012. 228 pp. [Co-supervisor, with Dr Mary Paul as Primary].










James Cowan (1870-1943).
Photograph: Stanley Andrew (1929)

[2010]: Gregory Wood, Revisiting James Cowan: A Reassessment of The New Zealand Wars (1922-23). A Thesis Presented in Fulfilment of the Requirement for the Degree of Master of Philosophy in English at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand. Auckland: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2010. 107 pp. [Primary supervisor, with Professor Michael Belgrave as Co-supervisor].







[2009]: 139.750: Contemporary NZ Writers in an International Context – Administration Guide / Poetry Anthology / Lecture Notes (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2009).




Online Text:

Course website






[2009]: 139.226: Life Writing – Administration Guide / Book of Readings (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2009).


Online Text:

Course website






[2008]: ENG 220 / 356: Novels since 1900 – Administration Guide (Auckland University: English Department, 2008).




Samples:

Course website






[2008]: Rowan McCormick, Writers of Passage. Edited by Jack Ross. Preface by Mary Paul, with an Afterword by Eleanor Rimoldi. Social and Cultural Studies, 9. ISSN 1175-7132. Auckland: Massey University, 2008. ii + 70 pp.





Samples:

Social and Cultural Studies

Reviews & Comments:

  1. Jennifer Little. "New books reveal bold approach to writing life.” Massey News. [6/6/08]

    Writers of Passage, by social anthropology and English literature postgraduate Rowan McCormick, is ... the ninth in the school’s monograph series.

    In it, he takes the roles of ethnographer, philosopher, interviewer, writer and editor to explore the complexities of authorship and identity, and the meanings and interpretations ascribed to both. His essay is, he says, an endorsement of the heroic quality needed to pursue the writing life.

    Senior English lecturer Dr Mary Paul, in her preface, describes Writers of Passage as “fascinating.” She says Mr McCormick “simultaneously synthesises a wide range of ideas about writing, the phenomenology and hermeneutics of reading, testimony and therapy and enacts (or performs) a heroic journey of discovery; and has ‘a really good time’ doing both.”






[2008]: 139.795: Recent Poets and Fiction in New Zealand – Administration Guide / Book of Readings (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2008).




Online Text:

Course website






[2007]: 139.326: Travel Writing – Administration Guide / Book of Readings / Workbook Notes (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2007).




Online Text:

Course website

Reviews & Comments:

  1. Jennifer Little. "City the ticket for new travel writing course." Massey News 21 (20 Whiniringa-à-rangi / November, 2006) 11.

    Never mind the bulging backpack, malaria tablets and the ticket to Tibet or Tahiti, all students will need to start a new travel writing course is a pen, a pad and an Auckland city bus ticket.

    The level-three paper, to be launched next year by the English Department on the Auckland campus, will take a broad approach to the idea of travel writing, says course convenor Dr Jack Ross.

    He and fellow lecturers Dr Mary Paul and Dr Jenny Lawn want to encourage their students to think of travel writing as more than commercially-driven accounts of overseas trips aimed at glossy magazines.

    “To me travel writing is basically anything you look at when you step outside your door,” says Dr Ross. “Given that we can’t actually give all our students a plane ticket and tell them to go off in the break to a far-off place and write about it, we are going to give them bus tickets to go across town.”

    This will constitute one of the course assignments, with students being asked to travel by public transport to part of the city they’ve never seen before and to write about what they see.

    Students will explore the subjective nature of writing about places and people.

    “We’ll ask what does an anthropologist see when they look at a landscape, what does a political scientist see, what questions do you ask when you meet a person.”

    Having had a spell of OE is not a prerequisite for the course, but studying travel writing – by practising techniques of careful observation as well as reading well-known writers of the genre and hearing from travel journalists as guest lecturers – will be good preparation for those intending to embark on a journey, he adds.

    Reading for the course will include the writings of explorers such as Marco Polo and Captain Cook, as well as the Lonely Planet Guide to New Zealand and even the newer anti-travel genre, in which writers go to the dullest, dreariest, most ignored places they can find and write about them.

    “The fascination is in going to a place to find out what it’s like,” says Dr Ross. “Nothing is uninteresting, at least potentially, which is the attitude of the anti-travel writers.

    “If they find that their own back yard is the most interesting place to write about, I think that is a perfectly valid choice.”

    The new course means that students at Massey’s Auckland campus now have a creative writing option at all levels, with creative writing in the first year, life writing in the second year and travel writing in the third.

  2. Jennifer Little. "Road Scholar." Definingnz 20 (12 December 2011) 37.

    You don’t have to duck bullets in Afghanistan to produce good travel writing.

    Properly undertaken, a suburban bus trip can be a voyage of discovery, travel writing lecturer Dr Jack Ross tells his students. One of his course assignments is to “take public transport: bus/train/ferry to another part of the Auckland region – write a piece about your discoveries there”.

    He hopes those who sign up for his popular third-year English and media studies paper, Travel Writing, will come away with an appreciation of how flexible and generously all-embracing the genre is.

    The readings for the course are an eclectic mix, spanning the centuries and continents, from The Travels of Marco Polo (1300) and poet Matsuo Basho’s Narrow Road to the Deep North (1694) to Joseph Conrad’s Congo Diary (1890) and many recent, well known works such as Eric Newby’s A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (1985), Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971), Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities (1972) and Paul Theroux’s The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific (1992).

    New Zealand writers include poet Martin Edmond and journalists Colin Hogg and Steve Braunias, as well as novelist Lloyd Jones, whose book Biografi – set in Albania and concerning the search for the dictator Enver Hoxha’s body double – is a leaping off point for the debate about the boundaries between fact and fiction.

    Ross himself has published poetic explorations of journeys to India and a death camp in the Czech Republic.

    He encourages students to tap in to their own knowledge, whether art history, economics or sociology, as a framework for opening doors. “Every place is interesting if you look at it in a certain way.”

    Travel writing, he says, overlaps closely with investigative journalism: both tell stories, proffer insights and reveal ways of life otherwise hidden, ignored or lost.

    Misadventure is another fertile source for engaging writing, as epitomised by New Zealand poet, novelist, travel writer and journalist Robin Hyde in her 1939 book Dragon Rampant, about her travels in Asia.

    “Something went wrong every time she jumped on a train or ship, in China and Manchuria, where she was beaten and abused. It’s fascinating and horrifying but you can’t put it down.”

    He is also a fan of anti-travel writing, “where you deliberately go to the most boring, backward and downright disturbing place you can find”.

    His dislikes? “The where-can-you-find-the-best-daiquiris-in-Bali kind of journalism, which I detest.”

  3. Ingrid Horrocks. "Application for Flexible Learning Innovation Fund." Email correspondence (11 May 2017):

    I have no illusions about the fact that I enjoy the way 280 [Creative Nonfiction] works partly because I designed and wrote it. We do a similar thing on the basis on Jack’s Travel Writing paper, which I deliver as a kind of tutor in Wellington, and that’s harder because I have to enter Jack’s mind (you can imagine the challenge ...).






[2006]: 139.123: Creative Writing – Administration Guide / Book of Readings (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2006).




Online Text:

Course website






[2005]: 139.123: Creative Writing – Supplementary Readings: Poetry / Prose (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2005).




Samples:

Course anthology site






[2004]: 139.226: Life Writing – Supplemental Readings (Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2004).


Samples:

Course anthology site

Reviews & Comments:

  1. Jennifer Little. “Life Writing Course Lays it Bare.” Massey News 14 (14 here-turi-kōkā / August) 12.

    Even the apparently dullest life can be turned into compelling art if the writing is well executed and the story given shape, according to Dr Ross.

    But while the lives of many students who embark on Life Writing are far from dull, the challenge for all is to learn “the best way of saying what they want to say,” says Dr Ross.

  2. Jennifer Little. “Immigrant Voices heard in Life Writing.” ‘Scoop’ Independent News (11 August).

    The course combines academic study and analysis of literary masters – from Graham Greene and Marcel Proust to Margaret Atwood – with workshops in which they apply writing techniques to their own lives, says lecturer, author and book editor Dr Jack Ross.

    “Writing has to be approached as a pragmatic craft as well as art,” he says. “There is a lot of false awe surrounding it.”






[2003]: 139.107: Written Communication Coursebook, ed. Janet Holst & Karen Rhodes, revised by Jack Ross (College of Humanities and Social Sciences / School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2003).








[2001]: The Writing Skills Workshop. Video/Workbook written and presented by Jack Ross, produced by Robert van der Vyver (Otago University: Higher Education Development Centre, 2001) 48 pp. [77 mins].





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