Alexander, Raewyn

Alexander, Raewyn

In Brief

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

Author photo: Andi Crown


Alexander, Raewyn (1955 - ) is a fiction writer, poet, reviewer, essayist, blogger, non-fiction writer, editor, publisher and performer. Her first novel Fat (Penguin, 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 (Penguin, 1998), is described by Mike Eager as 'skillfully 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, Atlanta Review (USA), John Tranter's Poetics Research Number Five (Australia), Jacket (USA), Printout, nzepc (online), Obsession: Sestinas in the 21st Century (University Press of New England), the Australian magazine Ulitarra and in the anthologies of Auckland Poetry Live, one of the forums where she is well known as a performer.

She performs at Auckland's Gong, and Tiny Theatre, too, at the latter MC and organiser for community performance evening and open mic, bi-monthly, Voices from Rain. 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 wrote in Booknotes 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). In 2001 she wrote Sweet: A Guide for New Zealand Teenagers. These are both published by David Ling.

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 sixth issue entitled, Ka Ora (Alive), Survival was the magazine's final publication.

In 2005 two chapbooks by Raewyn Alexander were published by brightspark books: 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 brightspark books.

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 published 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.

In 2016 bright spark books published a poetry collection Our Mother Flew Unassisted.

In 2017, she performed poetry in Melbourne at Tago Mago, The Dan O'Connell, on JOY FM, and 3RRR FM radio stations, and took part in The Festival of the Photocopier.

Alexander is the director of Blue Haven Writing Workshops in Grey Lynn @BlueHavenWriting.

She also offers other literary classes and get togethers, along with zine-making sessions, frequently, in New Zealand and overseas.

Updates available -


  • Raewyn's website
  • Blue Haven Writing Workshops Facebook page
  • Raewyn's blog
  • Raewyn Alexander's Poetic Tour of America and Trees for Travel blog
  • Raewyn Alexander poetry and audio at nzepc

Updated May 2017.