Writer in Residence Visits Unity Books

15 May 2014

Award-winning German author, Maike Wetzel will be at Unity books on Thursday 22 May at 12pm.

Maike Wetzel standing outside Bolton Street Cemetry

Maike Wetzel

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Maike is the Goethe-Institut’s inaugural writer in residence. She has been based in Wellington for almost 3 months, staying at the historic Sexton’s cottage on Bolton Street. When asked about her stay she says that, "distance sharpens the view. Travelling brings a fresh breeze. The heart is beating; the fingers are flying across the Keyboard.”

During Maike’s stay in Wellington she has participated in Writers Week at the New Zealand Festival in March, several events and talks at Victoria University and in Auckland.

The Goethe-Institut writer’s residency enables writers to spend time here in New Zealand for an extended period of time to afford them space for new perspectives. This year’s Goethe-Institut residency was supported by Wellington City Council, New Zealand Festival, Victoria University of Wellington and Bolton Hotel. The Goethe-Institut would also like to acknowledge generous assistance from the German Foreign Office.

The German writer was born in 1974, close to Frankfurt in Germany. Maike is the author of two award-winning collections of short stories: Lange Tage [Long Days] (2003) and Hochzeiten (2000). Her stories have appeared in over 40 anthologies, on radio and on screen. She has directed several short films and documentaries and has a number of screenplays to her name. Her journalistic articles have been published in prestigious German newspapers and magazines such as Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. She is currently living in Berlin and is working on her latest novel.

Built in 1857, the Sexton's Cottage is one of Wellington’s oldest homes, protected by the Historic Places Trust the cottage is managed by Wellington City Council and is also used once a year (for three months) during spring for the Wellington Asia Residency Exchange (WARE) programme.

Katie Taylor Duke, Arts Programme Advisor with the Council says that, “it’s a great location for artists given its heritage, proximity to the city, arts organisations and tertiary institutions like Victoria and Massey Universities. The cottage is fairly modest – a small house – and perfect for artists wishing to develop their practice.”

Maike’s reading at Unity Books Thursday 22 May at 12pm, will be her last public appearance before returning home to Berlin. She will reflect in conversation with Dr Calvin Scott, Policy Advisor at Creative New Zealand, about her time in Wellington and sign her award-winning collection of short stories, Long Days.