Monday, November 19, 2007

McAlpine, Rachel

Rachel McAlpine (b. 1940)


Aotearoa NZ Poetry Sound Archive (2004):


1. This is me (Sheila) Talking
2. Making Faces
3. House poems [13-15]
4. Before the Fall
5. How to Live without Love
6. Why Japan?
7. The trouble with travel
8. Haiku, not
9. Gardens of Kyoto
10. Innocent questions
11. Japanese Rain
12. Flying home

Bio / Bibliography:

Rachel McAlpine is a Wellington poet, novelist, playwright, children’s author and educator. Born in Fairlie, South Canterbury, in 1940, she was educated at Christchurch Girls’ High School, the University of New Zealand, Canterbury College, and Victoria University, Wellington. She holds a BA (Hons.) from the latter and is a qualified teacher. She began seriously writing poetry in 1974 and had her first collection, Lament for Ariadne, published the following year. She has since produced another seven collections of poetry, including her Selected Poems (1988); however, in the decade following the early 1980s she tended to direct her focus more towards playwrighting and novels. (Only one volume of poetry, 1993’s Tourist in Kyoto, post-dates the issuing of her Selected Poems.) During this period, she published three novels, The Limits of Green (1985), Running Away from Home (1987) and Farewell Speech (1990), and wrote six stage plays and a four part radio serial, The Op Shop Quartet (1988). Many of her plays are aimed at school students, and, during the early 1990s, she wrote several illustrated children’s books. During the early 1990s, however, McAlpine’s professional interests turned towards non-fiction - particularly the craft of writing popular fiction and teaching English as a second language. She is the author of Real Writing: Inspiration and Advice for Writers from a Successful New Zealand Author (1992); Global English for Global Business (1997); and The Passionate Pen (1998), a series of interviews with New Zealand romance writers. In 2000, she edited Nine Winning Habits of Successful Authors, a self-help book for aspiring genre novelists. She is currently director of Quality Web Content, an online supplier of products and services for web content editors, and webmaster of, for which she writes a daily poetry blog.


Lament for Ariadne, (with drawings by David Cheer), Dunedin: Caveman Press, 1975
Stay at the Dinner Party, Dunedin: Caveman Press, 1977
Fancy Dress, Auckland: Cicada Press, 1979
House Poems, Wellington: Nutshell Books, 1980
Recording Angel, Wellington: Mallinson Rendel, 1983
Thirteen Waves, (with lino cuts by Michael Smither), Feilding: Homeprint, 1986
Selected Poems, Wellington: Mallinson Rendel, 1988
Tourist in Kyoto, Wellington: Nutshell Books, 1993


The Limits of Green, Auckland: Viking, 1985
Running Away From Home, Auckland: Penguin, 1987
Farewell Speech, Auckland: Penguin, 1990

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