Ursula Bethell Residency in Creative Writing

Supported by funding from Creative New Zealand

About Ursula Bethell

Ursula Bethell
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.

Current Writers in Residence

The 2018 Writers in Residence are Albert Belz and Lynley Edmeades. They are resident in the second half of 2018.

Lynley Edmeades hails from Dunedin. Her first book of poetry, As the Verb Tenses, was published in 2016 with Otago University Press. She graduated with her PhD in avant-garde poetics in 2017 from the University of Otago. She is the recipient of a Creative New Zealand Arts Grant, and earlier this year, Lynley was the Visiting Artist at Massey University. During her time as the Ursula Bethell Writer in Residence she will be working on her second book of poems and a collection of essays that brings her creative and scholarly thinking together.

Lynley Edmeades

Karl Popper 605

Albert Belz’s career in the arts originally began as an actor before turning his hand to writing for stage and screen.  An award-winning playwright, his unique voice has crossed many datelines and divides.  They’ve been performed internationally from London to Paris to New York & Sydney.  Issues ranging from class, ethnicity and sexual politics, to Gothic serial killers and religion resonate through his words. Belz has held writing residencies in Les Quesnoy (Northern France) and both Waikato and Victoria Universities. This year he worked with Auckland Theatre Company to translate Anton Chekhov’s ‘Cherry Orchard’ which saw a highly successful run at the ASB Waterfront Theatre. His latest play Cradle Song (a horror set in South West Ireland) recently won best script by a Maori Playwright 2018 and is set to open at Corban Estate in Auckland in September, while another play of his - “Astroman” is being produced by the Melbourne Theatre Company and Court Theatre Christchurch to open in both cities on the same evening in October.  His latest television comedy series “Tongue Tied” is currently screening on Maori Television. Belz is also a lecturer in performing arts and writing for stage and screen at Manukau Institute of Technology.

Albert Belz

Karl Popper 601
Internal Phone: 90415

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:

Karen Healey (2017)
John Newton (2017)
David Howard
Philip Braithwaite (2016)
Nick Gibb (2015)
Coral Atkinson (2015)
Vivienne Plumb (2014)
Frankie McMillan (2014)
John Pule (2013)
Geoff Chapple(2013)
Helen Lowe (2012)
David Eggleton (2012)
Eleanor Catton (2011)
Graeme Tetley (2011)
Tusiata Avia (2010)
Victor Rodger (2009)
Rachael King (2008)
Philip Norman (2007)
Carl Nixon (2006)
Charlotte Randall (2005)
Graham Lindsay (2004)
Catherine Chidgey(2003)
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 (1989)
Gary Langford (1989)
Brian McNeill (1988)
Mike Johnson (1987)
Kevin Ireland (1986)
Rachel McAlpine (1986)
Graham Billing (1985)
Keri Hulme (1985)
Margaret Mahy (1984)
Murray Edmond (1983)
Barry Mitcalfe (1982)
Owen Marshall (1981)
Jennifer Compton (1980)
Michael Morrissey (1979)