About the author.
Brown , Diane (1951 - ) is a novelist, memoirist and poet who runs her own creative writing school, Creative Writing Dunedin. She was an inaugural fellow at the Michael King Writer’s Studio, and her poetry has appeared in journals including Landfall, Poetry NZ and NZ Listener. Her first book, combining poetry and prose, is Before The Divorce We Go To Disneyland (1997). It won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award at the 1997 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Kim Worthington writes in New Zealand Books: ‘Juxtaposing the sardonic and the lyrical...this novella-length book sits surprisingly comfortably on the borderline between autobiographical fiction and confessional autobiography.’ Brown completed her second book, a novel entitled If the Tongue Fits (1999) during her time as a Buddle Finlay Sargeson Fellow in 1997. Susan Budd describes this as ‘A deliciously original, gloriously hectic first novel...packed with wit and wisdom, poetry and poseurs, light-as-air comedy and enough earthy reality to provoke a little discomfort in the reader.’ ( New Zealand Books) . Her second novel 8 Stages of Grace (2002) was longlisted for the Deutz Medal for Fiction in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2003. In 2004, Brown published a travel memoir Liars & Lovers . In her early twenties and with a marriage already behind her, she set off across the world by ship. Thirty years on, Brown tries to make sense of the old self as well as the new. Learning to Lie Together (Random House, 2004) is a collection of poetry, dealing with relationships and with questions of time and place. Brown combines a lyrical style with remarkable candour and an eye for the absurd: ironing boards left in strange places, possums falling out of trees, screams in the park, men who throw everything out the door and much more. In 2006, Godwit published Brown's memoir and poetry collection, Here Comes Another Vital Moment , that considers the question, when does the ordinary become vital? For Diane, it is when she crosses boundaries: of countries, cultures and language; from poetry to prose; from the past to the present; the personal to the universal. David Hill writes in the NZ Listener , 'The prose is packed, the b&w photos expressive and/or enigmatic, but the poetry really punches above its weight.' Diane Brown won the 2012 Janet Frame Memorial Award. In 2013 she was awarded the 2013 Beatson Fellowship, and made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to writing and education.
In 2015, Taking My Mother To The Opera (Otago University Press) was published, an extended poetic family memoir, in part about post World War Two domestic life and the ageing of parents.
Her latest work is a poetic narrative, Every Now and then I Have Another Child ( Otago University Press, 2020).
Brown lives in Dunedin with her husband, author Philip Temple.
- Diane Brown's website
- Creative Writing Dunedin website
- Diane Brown awarded 2014 Beatson Fellowship media release
- Otago Daily Times poetry round-up
- NZ Herald review Liars & Lovers
- New Zealand Books review of Here Comes Another Vital Moment
- New Zealand Books review of Learning to Lie Together
Academy of New Zealand Literature
- About this Member
- More details
Diane Brown is a novelist, memoirist, and poet who runs her own creative writing school, Creative Writing Dunedin. In 2013, Diane was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to writing and education. Her work often straddles the border between poetry and prose, and is mostly committed to the personal and looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Diane’s publications include three collections of poetry: Before The Divorce We Go To Disneyland (1997), winner of the NZSA Best First Book of Poetry at the Montana Book Awards (1997), Learning to Lie Together (2004) and Every Now and then I Have Another Child (Otago UP, 2020). She has two novels: If The Tongue Fits (1999), and 8 Stages of Grace (2002), a verse novel that was a finalist in the Montana Book Awards (2003). She has also published a travel memoir Liars and Lovers (2004), and a prose/poetic work , Here Comes Another Vital Moment . Her latest book, Taking My Mother To The Opera (2015), is an extended poetic family memoir, in part about post World War II domestic life and the ageing of parents. Reviewer Paula Green (NZ Poetry Shelf), described this work as ‘a rollercoasting, thought provoking, detail clinging, self catapulting, beautiful read’.
Diane has held the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship, and was an inaugural fellow at the Michael King Writer’s Studio. She has participated in numerous festivals and events, both nationally and internationally. Among her accolades, she won the Janet Frame Memorial Award (2012), and the Beatson Fellowship (2013).
She lives in Dunedin with her husband, author Philip Temple.
Diane Brown’s website
Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page
NZ Poetry Shelf review of Taking My Mother To The Opera (2015)
New releases by Diane Brown
Every Now and Then I Have Another Child (poetry)
Published by Otago University Press on May 6, 2020
Bibliography: Diane Brown
Every Now and Then I Have Another Child (Otago UP, 2020)
Learning to Lie Together (Godwit, 2004)
Before the Divorce We Go To Disneyland (Tandem Press, 1997)
8 Stages of Grace (Verse novel: Random House, 2002)
If the Tongue Fits (Tandem Press, 1999)
Taking My Mother to the Opera (Poetic memoir: Otago UP, 2015)
Here Comes Another Vital Moment (Memoir: Godwit, 2006)
Liars & Lovers (Memoir: Vintage, 2004)
'I want you to think about what you would like to see at the heart of your national literature ' - Tina Makereti
About Creative Writing Dunedin
Creative Writing Dunedin offers face-to-face (currently Zoom) and online classes in Fiction, Poetry and Memoir. Courses offered from May 2020 are Tools for Storytelling, Writing Your Life, and Making Fine Poems. Comprehensive workbooks and exercises are offered for these courses. All exercises are individually marked by experienced teacher and author Diane Brown.
Apricot sky in the V between the arms of the harbour. Fully ripe. I bathe in the luxury of a view and waking to warmth before I turn to the storyline missing in my head. White pages falling to the floor. Outside, clouds have knitted a fluffy confection,
deep pink, the kind of colour my child-heart hankered after. I envisage slipping it on, pirouetting on the still-blank page, claiming this is what I meant to say all along. Isn’t this me? Before I leave the dog-sitter and head to the airport, I take the parcel, overlooked
in the students’ letterbox for the past month, and place it on their doorstep. I would knock, but there is something alien or cultish about them. They all wear earphones and avoid eye contact. At the airport, my firstborn walks towards me, taller than I remember,
his voice deeper, his arms more embracing. Tempting to sink in, to let myself be taken care of, but it’s too early. I stand upright, regarding his number-one haircut. Why so short? I want to say. We buckle up. Thick clouds carpet the air. Possibly the same ones I saw this morning, mature now.
Diane Brown is a novelist, memoirist, and poet who runs Creative Writing Dunedin, teaching fiction, memoir and poetry. She is the author of eight books, including Before the Divorce We Go To Disneyland (Tandem Press, 1997), winner of the Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry, Learning to Lie Together (Godwit, 2004), and Eight Stages of Grace (Vintage, 2002), a verse novel which was a finalist in the Montana Book Awards 2003. She has also published a travel memoir, Liars and Lovers (Vintage, 2004), and three further poetic narratives: Here Comes Another Vital Moment (Godwit, 2006), Taking My Mother To The Opera (Otago University Press, 2015), and most recently the poetic novella Every Now and Then I Have Another Child (Otago University Press, 2020).
She has held the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship and has had two residencies at the Michael King Writer’s Studio. She won the Janet Frame Memorial Award in 2012 and the Beatson Fellowship in 2013 .
She is the Poetry Editor for ‘The Mix’ in the Otago Daily Times.
In 2013 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to writing and education. She lives in Dunedin with her husband, author Philip Temple.
Poem source details >
Diane Brown's website
Creative Writing Dunedin's website
Photographer credit: Philip Temple