My name is Kirsti Whalen. Once a camel farmer and laughing yoga instructor at a nudist retreat in France, I now spend my days studying creative writing at Manukau Institute of Technology and working in disability advocacy and support. I have been published widely in journals including Overland, Landfall, Lip Mag, Rabbit and Blackmail Press. I was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Sarah Broom Poetry Prize, and in the past was the winner of both the Katherine Mansfield Young Writers Award and the National Schools Poetry Competition. I believe in telling stories and finding the links between each other in the depths of our shared tales.

I recently moved back to New Zealand after a four year stint in Melbourne, where I worked as a support worker and creativity-facilitator for young adults with disabilities and was active in the performance poetry scene.

This blog is the outward expression of what it means to be an emerging writer at work in Aotearoa.