Fiona has published poetry, fiction, drama, and non-fiction, and is unique among New Zealand writers in having received awards in all genres. She received the inaugural Bruce Mason Award for Drama. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the New Zealand Book Awards and widely anthologised.
Her first novel, The Skinny Louie Book, won the 1993 New Zealand Book Award for Fiction. Several later novels have been shortlisted for that award and also longlisted for the International Dublin IMPAC Award.
She has held various residencies, including the Mansfield Fellowship in Menton, the Rathcoola Residency in Cork, Ireland, and the 2011 Burns Fellowship at Otago. She has been a frequent guest at festivals throughout New Zealand and has also appeared internationally, at the Edinburgh Festival, the Vancouver Writers Festival, the Adelaide Writers’ Festival, and the UK’s Salisbury Festival.
In 2007, she received the Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction, and, in 2012, she was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Literature.
Her most recent publication, Nouns, verbs, etc. Selected Poems (Otago University Press 2020) has been warmly reviewed as “a Poetry Treasure House … a glorious book” (Paula Green, Poetry Shelf), and “an excellent retrospective ... remarkable for [drawing] small personal realities together with the broad sweep of history” (Nicholas Reid, The Listener).
After many years in remote Otanerito Bay on Banks Peninsula, she now lives in Dunedin.
Fiona Farrell at DWRF 2021:
A Posse of Poets
Politics of Poetry