Hone Kouka (Ngati Porou, Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Kahungunu) is an acclaimed Maori writer, winner of the Bruce Mason Award (1992) and multiple Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. He has had plays produced in South Africa, Britain, Hawaii, Canada, Australia, New Caledonia, as well as throughout New Zealand, with two plays being translated into French and Russian.
Hone has published five books and co-founded theatre production house Tawata Productions, producing the works of emerging and established Maori and tauiwi playwrights. He has worked as Development Executive at the New Zealand Film Commission and in the Radio New Zealand Drama department. Hone became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Contemporary Maori Theatre in June 2009.
Martin Edmond was born in Ohakune and grew up there and in other small New Zealand towns. After completing university study, he joined travelling players Red Mole and toured internationally with them. A period working as a lighting operator for rock bands followed. Since 1981, he has lived in Sydney. Edmond has written nine non-fiction books, a number of shorter volumes of essays or other prose excursions; as well as half a dozen films, including the award-winning Illustrious Energy (1988) with Leon Narby. Much admired as a prose stylist, Edmond’s books range across New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific and include Luca Antara: Passages in search of Australia (2006), described by Nobel prizewinner J.M. Coetzee as “a graceful and mesmerising blend of history, autobiography, travel, and romance,” and Dark Night: Walking with McCahon (2011). Four of his books have been shortlisted in the national book awards; his genre-crossing memoir, Chronicle of the Unsung won the biography category of the 2005 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. He was the 2004 Writing Fellow at The University of Auckland, in 2007 won a CLL Writers’ Award to support writing Zone of the Marvellous: In Search of the Antipodes (2009), and was a Michael King Writers’ Centre Writer in Residence in 2010. In 2013, he received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement for Non-fiction. Edmond has just completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of Western Sydney, where he is now a Post-Doctoral Fellow. His dissertation, a biographical study of the painters Rex Battarbee and Albert Namatjira, is published in October by Giramondo.
Emily Perkins is a short story writer, novelist and Senior Lecturer at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters, where she convenes the MA in Fiction. Her books include Not Her Real Name and Other Stories (Picador), winner of the Geoffrey Faber Prize UK and the Montana First Fiction Award NZ, Novel About My Wife (Bloomsbury), which won the Montana Book Award NZ and the Believer Book Award US, and The Forrests (Bloomsbury), which was a finalist in the NZ Post Book Awards and long-listed for the former Orange Prize for Fiction. She has held the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship and in 2011 she was named an Arts Laureate by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. She is currently working on two dramatic adaptation projects, one for stage and one for film.