Siobhan Harvey is a poet, prose writer, editor, reviewer, and teacher. Her writing has appeared in a wide range of publications and anthologies and has been broadcast on Radio New Zealand. She has edited and co-edited several anthologies, including Words Chosen Carefully and Essential New Zealand Poems. Her first collection of poetry Lost Relatives was released in 2011. Harvey won the 2013 Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award and her winning manuscript was published the following year as Cloudboy. She is available to visit schools as part of the Writers in Schools programme, and can lead Professional Development sessions for teachers on any aspect of creative writing.
Place of residence: Auckland
Harvey, Siobhan is a poet, prose writer, editor, reviewer, and teacher. She has worked as a creative writing teacher in Manchester (UK), and Auckland (NZ) at The University of Auckland. She is an NZSA mentor, the poetry editor of Takahe magazine, consulting editor for International Literary Quarterly and she has been the National Coordinator of National Poetry Day since 2009.
Her writing has appeared in a wide range of national and international publications, including Landfall, International Literary Quarterly, NZ Listener, The Press, and Meanjin. Her writing also features in several anthologies, including Swings and Roundabouts: Poems about Parenting (Godwit, 2008), and A Good Handful: Poems about Sex (AUP, 2008). Her work has been broadcast on Radio New Zealand. In 2009 she was Auckland Regional Council Writer in Residence at Awhitu Reserve, and in 2008 she was runner-up in the inaugural Bernard Gadd Memorial Poetry Prize, and runner-up again in 2009.
Siobhan Harvey was the editor of Our Own Kind: 100 New Zealand Poems about Animals (Random House, 2009). Paula Green reviewed the anthology in NZ Herald’s Canvas magazine, ‘Harvey’s anthology defies the pessimist’s claim that the market is flooded with poetry anthologies. Quite the contrary. A good anthology has the power to show off, both quietly and noisily, what poetry can do whether formally, technically, musically or in the light of the subject matter. It can send you greedily on the trail of the new voices, or wind you momentarily as you witness a familiar voice in a new light.’
Harvey also edited the anthology, Words Chosen Carefully: New Zealand Writers in Discussion (Cape Catley Ltd, 2010), in which 15 New Zealand writers and 15 literary critics engage in discussions about each author's work, the nature of writing and the place of land, culture, belonging, society, family and art in their work. Michael Larsen reviewed the anthology for NZ Herald’s Canvas magazine, ‘Words Chosen Carefully is yet another reminder that the breadth and depth of literary talent in this country by far exceeds what you’d expect from such a small nation.’
In 2011 her first book-length collection of poetry, Lost Relatives, was published by Steele Roberts. Nicholas Reid reviewed the volume in Poetry New Zealand, 'The problems of identity and artistic representation are presented. There is no pretence that they are solved or that a definitive statement can be made about them. That is why these poems live.' Cy Mathews reviewed the book in The Landfall Review Online, 'Harvey walks a fine line between meditation and fantasy, and seems well in control of her poetry. Of the three books under review, hers is the one with the most satisfying sense of overall shape: an arc of poems in flight, cohesive, yet with a touch deft enough to remain also elusive.'
In 2011 she was a guest at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Indonesia. She was also runner-up in the Kathleen Grattan Award for a Sequence of Poems and runner-up in the 2011 Landfall Essay competition.
Harvey was shortlisted in 2012 for the NZSA Janet Frame Memorial Award, and she was runner-up for both the 2012 Kevin Ireland Award for Poetry and the Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize (Australia). She was also featured in Best New Zealand Poems 2012.
She attended the 2013 Queensland Poetry Festival and her essay 'A Boy Called Cloud' was Highly Commended in the 2013 Landfall Essay Competition. Siobhan Harvey won the 2013 Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award, judged by Jeffrey Paparoa Holman.
Her second book of poems, Cloudboy, was published by Otago University Press in 2014. James Norcliffe wrote of the collection in Landfall Review Online, 'Cloudboy is a sustained and passionate account of the stresses, frustrations and more occasionally rewards of an autistic child’s developing interaction with the world... an admirable achievement... Cloudboy is a book that takes great risks but confronts those risks with courage and unflinching honesty.'
Patricia Prime reviewed the book in Takahē, writing ‘Harvey is a prodigiously talented poet and the poignant poems in this collection give readers a tender and detailed description of her child's imaginative potential and is a book that will be valuable to parents and teachers of children with autism.’
Harvey's creative non-fiction has been published in several America journals including Segue (Miami University) and Pilgrimage (Colorado State University).
She co-edited Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page (Random House New Zealand, 2014) with Harry Ricketts and James Norcliffe. Jane Orchard reviewed the anthology in Takahē, 'You can plunge in at any page and surface with a tiny gem... this is a valuable addition to anyone's poetry shelf.'
Essential New Zealand Poems appeared in the Nielsen Top 10 bestsellers list for a considerable period of time after launch and it was the New Zealand Herald's top book pick for its summer 'What We're Reading' spot.
Siobhan Harvey's poem 'The Evicted' was runner-up in the 2014 New Zealand Poetry Society International poetry competition, judged by Tim Jones. Her essay 'We the Evicted' was a finalist in the 2014 Landfall Essay Prize.
In 2015, Harvey was shortlisted for the Janet Frame Memorial Award.
writers in schools information
Siobhan Harvey is able to visit students aged 5 and over, anywhere in the country. She is able to speak about being a poet, a novelist and adult fiction writer, a storyteller and teen fiction writer. She can read aloud from her work, speak about her life and writing, take workshops, including gifted and talented workshops, answer questions and give a poetry performance. She also speaks French. Her preferred number of students per session is 10-12, with a maximum of 20. She is also available to lead Professional Development sessions for teachers on any aspect of creative writing.
- James Norcliffe's review of Cloudboy for Landfall Review Online
- Siobhan Harvey interviewed on Radio New Zealand's Arts on Sunday about her Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award win
- Siobhan Harvey’s profile on the Random House website
- Words Chosen Carefully on the Cape Catley website
- Lost Relatives on Steele Roberts' website
- Review of Lost Relatives on The Landfall Review Online
- Review of Lost Relatives in the NZ Listener
- Siobhan Harvey on the The Poetry Archive (U.K.), featuring audio recordings of her work
- 2012 Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize profile
- Best New Zealand Poems 2012, featuring Siobhan Harvey
- Interview with Harvey at the 2013 Queensland Poetry Festival
- 2013 Landfall Essay Competition profile