[Photograph: NZ Book Council]
Lee Dowrick (b. 1931)
Aotearoa NZ Poetry Sound Archive (2004):
1. Writing to My Father
2. His Majesty’s Theatre, Auckland 1902 – 1988
His Majesty’s Theatre (performance version)
3. A Manhunt … By Design … Fifties Style
4. The Bay
5. No More Settlers Allowed
6. You Went to China
7. News Item
9. A Different Garden
12. Little Cleopatra, 1941
13. Dangerous, 1936
Bio / Bibliography:
Lee Dowrick lives and writes in Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore.
She grew up with her four brothers and a sister in Waipukurau, Hawke’s Bay. Stock Sale days on Tuesdays, empty paddocks with creeks, trees and bridges along the Tukituki river set their scene.
In the fifties she changed trains at Palmerston North and headed for the Big Smoke, Auckland, a culture shock that was alive with jobs and adventure. Freelance participation in feature and story writing for newspapers and magazines(plus putting personal pomes in people’s pay packets to relieve office routines), led to an established interest as a writer. This she picked up again when she ‘retired’ in 1991. She now joins in and organizes poetry workshops and readings for festivals, shows and private functions. She also works along with a special language teacher in workshops for children to write, perform and publish their own poetry in small booklets.
Some of Lee‘s poetry comes from her country childhood during wartime and from life in the city in the fifties. Current social comment and politics lurk within her current work. Some is written specifically for performance.
Her poems have been placed in several New Zealand and Australian competitions and published in Printout, Spin, Poetry NZ, Takahe, NZ Listener and Glottis, and contemporary collections Doors, Jewels in the Water and Something Between Breaths. She has recorded selected poems for the NZ National Archives.
Her first collection, based on working in the public service during Rogernomics,
What’s left in politics? with drawings by Kate Wells, was self published in 1993.
In 1998 - That was Then – was published by Christian Gray NZ
and in 2001 - I run in my stilettos was published by Bookcaster Press. There were interviews and readings from these on National Radio.
Lee has read some of her short stories on Access Radio, a NZ science fiction story "Three is a Cloud" is anthologised in Star Songs, some have appeared in magazines. A short short story in The Third Century, Tandem Press 1999.
She has also won some competitions for children’s poems and her work has been published in Allsorts magazine, School Journals, Another 100 NZ poems for Children, NZ Memories and broadcast on National Radio children’s programmes.
That was Then (Christian Gray NZ) 1998
I run in my Stilettos (Bookcaster Press) 2001.