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Alexander, Raewyn
Writer's File

Raewyn Alexander

Alexander, Raewyn
In brief

Raewyn Alexander writes fiction and poetry. She is also an editor, publisher and performer. Her writing has featured in literary journals, in addition to her published novels and poetry collections. She was editor of Magazine, an arts journal, established in 2003. Alexander is a practiced performer of her poetry and has read at reading events and poetry festivals. She has also written several guides aimed at teenagers.

Author photo: Raewyn Alexander

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Alexander, Raewyn (1955 - ) is a fiction writer, poet, editor, publisher and performer. Her first novel FAT (1996) follows the fortunes of Poppy, a feisty escapee from Auckland's sex industry.

'The sheer dash and bite of her language makes for a densely packed and colourful text with lots of great lines... luscious and coruscating . . .' writes Gerry Webb in Quote Unquote.

A second novel, Concrete (1998), is described by Mike Eager as 'skilfully worked . . . Imagery is precise and vivid with some offbeat metaphors and a punchy, poetic style.' Alma Hromic notes 'It's all here, from abusive relationships (family and lovers) through depression, retail therapy, anorexia, alternate sexuality, Aids, sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.'

Alexander's poetry has appeared in Poetry NZ, Landfall, Bravado, Takahe, Printout, nzepc (online), the Australian magazine Ulitarra and in the anthologies of Auckland Poetry Live, one of the forums where she is well known as a performer. Her writing has also appeared in Last Night's Dream Corrected (Pretend Genius Press NY USA), and SHORT FUSE: The Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry (Rattapallax Press, NY USA).

Auckland University Press' AUP New Poets (1999) published a selection of Alexander's work, alongside Sarah Quigley and Anna Jackson. Bernadette Hall in New Zealand Books notes that the 'poems are marked by fabulous one-liners and a refreshing political rage. They hurtle along breathlessly, peaking for audience applause.'

Raewyn Alexander is also, with Olwyn Stewart, the author of Bacon is Not a Vegetable (701 Tips for Flatting).

Sweet: A Guide for New Zealand Teenagers (2001) How to avoid idiots and rip-offs, how to get work, how to create fast snacks for your friends without setting the kitchen on fire, what to do in a crisis, to date or not to date, hormones and other mysteries, internet safety, negotiating parents, families, teachers and friends without losing any love over it. All this and more . . .

Magazine is an arts journal, established in 2003 and edited by Raewyn Alexander. It was launched in November with work by Vivienne Plumb, Janet Charman, Jill Chan, Catherine Mair, Owen Bullock, Jack Ross, Lee Dowrick, Jaqueline Ottoway, Thomas Mitchell and others. The upcoming sixth issue entitled, Ka Ora (Alive), Survival will be the magazine's final publication.

In 2005 two chapbooks by Raewyn Alexander were published by brightsparkbooks: It's a Secret (Selected Poems 1993-2005) and Writing Poetry - fireworks, clay and architecture.

Raewyn Alexander was invited to read at the Overload Poetry Festival in Melbourne in 2006 and again in 2007. Her books are available from Collected Works Bookshop and Honeyweather and Speight in Melbourne.

In 2007, her poetry chapbook Grey Lynn Land of Bright Stars was published by brightsparkbooks.

Alexander's Tiny Titles, her handmade books have also been exhibited in Ponsonby and Botany in Auckland.

In 2008, her poetry collection Museum of Lost Days was released through Earl of Seacliff. In 2010, A Bee Lover's Poetry Companion, was published by Earl of Seacliff.

Her ebook What we Talk about when we Talk about Death, Money and Heart was published by Brightspark Books in 2012.

In the same year, Brightspark Books also launched her book of poetry, Family of Artists, including poems set to music on CD. Raewyn Alexander performs as Kat S. Idea with Transistor Davis Jnr on electric guitar. Family of Artists also features background information, along with various illustrations.

Raewyn Alexander's book Staples - recipes, hints, poetry is a book inspired by her status updates online (Brightspark Books, 2013).

Alexander's third novel Glam Rock Boyfriends was published by Brightspark Books in 2014. It is available on Amazon. In the same year her work was included in the anthology Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page (Random House NZ, 2014), edited by Siobhan Harvey, Harry Ricketts and James Norcliffe.