Harry Ricketts

Professor School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies


Teaching in 2017

Research interests

Harry teaches and does research on nineteenth and twentieth century poetry, including New Zealand poetry, children’s literature, creative non-fiction and literary biography. His most recent publications include: The Awa Book of New Zealand Sports Writing (2010); with Paula Green, 99 Ways into New Zealand Poetry (2010); and Strange Meetings: The Poets of the Great War (2010). He has also published personal essays, most recently How to Live Elsewhere (2004) and How to Catch a Cricket Match (2006)

Prof Harry Ricketts profile picture

Harry Ricketts

Phone: 04 463 6854
Fax: 04 463 6865
Email: modernletters@vuw.ac.nz


Harry is Professor in the School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies.

He has convened the Creative Nonfiction Workshop at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) since initiating it in 2002. He also convened the IIML's Short Fiction Workshop from 2000–2002.

His publications include The Unforgiving Minute, an acclaimed biography of Rudyard Kipling; Talking about Ourselves, a book of interviews with New Zealand poets; People Like Us, a volume of short stories; ten collections of poems (most recently Half Dark (Victoria University Press, 2015); and How You Doing?, an anthology of New Zealand comic verse. He is also co-editor of the review journal quarterly New Zealand Books.

The Penguin Book of New Zealand War Writing, co-edited with Gavin McLean, (Penguin, 2015), was widely and favourably reviewed.

In 2014 he co-edited (with James Norcliffe and Siobhan Harvey) Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page (Vintage), an anthology of New Zealand poetry which spent six months in the Fiction Bestselling list and (with Charles Ferrall) a collection of new essays, How We Remember: New Zealanders and the First World War (VUP).

In 2010, Harry published three books: The Awa Book of New Zealand Sports Writing (Awa Press); 99 Ways Into New Zealand Poetry with Paula Green (Vintage New Zealand); and Strange Meetings:The Poets of the Great War (Chatto and Windus), a composite biography of a dozen British WW1 poets.

How to Live Elsewhere was published in the Montana Estates essay series (Four Winds Press) in 2004, and How to Catch a Cricket Match, in the Awa Press essay series in 2006.

In 2002, Harry co-edited (with Paul Morris and Mike Grimshaw) a collection of spiritual poetry, Spirit in a Strange Land, which won the Reference and Anthology Category of the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. A second volume, Spirit Abroad: A Second Selection of New Zealand Spiritual Verse, was published in 2004.

For several years he taught the English Honours paper in the modern short story. He retired as the Listener's Wellington theatre critic in 2007, after nine years.

Further reading

Related websites

Course information

Read more about CREW 257 Creative Nonfiction, including timetable and fee information, or download a course flier here.