“I want to show students the world of writing and how they might expand it,” says Mary-Jane Duffy, a poet and the manager of the Creative Writing programme at Whitireia.
“I see my role as facilitating students to write the stories and text they want to write, but also to point them in directions they haven’t thought of, to think about how they might add to the world of writing.”
She teaches poetry, academic writing and research, as well as managing the programme and Escalator Press, the programme’s publishing arm.
“As a practising writer, I love being around other writers – and I include the students in that. There’s one very talented student finishing this year and it has been a joy to see her progress through the degree. She’ll graduate and Escalator Press will publish her manuscript, which is a great achievement” she says. “But I’m proud of all our student—no matter the size of their achievements.”
The programme has previously collaborated on projects with Visual Arts and Design and has always worked closely with the Publishing programme, so Mary-Jane is excited about the broader opportunities Te Auaha will offer.
“Having all those other disciplines around us will give students opportunities for writing in different contexts. I hope we’ll see graphic novels, song writing, plays and films, post casts and live performances. I know Te Auaha is going to expand all of our disciplines in ways we can’t even imagine” she says. “That’s what I’m really excited about.”
Photo: © Matt Bialostocki