Monday, November 5, 2018


Divine Feminist: Womb with a View is launching in Auckland on 22 November, details here. Invite your friends, enjoy vegan food and support this womberful book!

Saturday, November 3, 2018


I had an abortion. I already had two children. I was informed about foetal development. I also knew and accepted that my health rights came before those of an embryo or foetus; my human rights came before those of an embryo or foetus that only existed because of my body. 

I told my GP I wanted an abortion. She was very supportive and organised an appointment with the abortion clinic in my area. At the abortion clinic I had to convince a doctor, a psychologist, a nurse and a surgeon that I understood the implications of having an abortion and that I still wanted to go ahead with the procedure. 

The psychologist offered me counselling. But she also made it clear to me that I would only be allowed to have an abortion if she and the doctors considered my mental health would be impacted negatively by keeping the baby, which is to say, I had to pretend that I would be mentally ill if I was not granted access to a procedure to remove something from my body that I did not want there. 

The nurse talked about the foetus’ heartbeat and asked what I wanted to happen to the products of conception – the same terms had been used to describe the three foetuses I miscarried before having my children. It felt like I was being guilt-tripped, but the nurse assured me she was just making sure I wanted to go ahead with the abortion.

The surgeon tried to pressure me into having a contraceptive coil inserted during the procedure. When I declined, he laughed at me and proceeded to mock me. I can still hear his laughter. His undertaking of the procedure triggered sexual assaults I had survived from the age of eleven. 

Having no autonomy over one’s own body is traumatising; having no choice is traumatising; having to lie about one’s mental health is traumatising; and having to suffer the social stigmatisation, not from the wider community but from the health professionals who, because of legal constraints, are not giving the health care they are meant to, is traumatising. 

Since having an abortion I have been pregnant twice. I miscarried one pregnancy. I am pregnant now, because pregnancy is my choice. I didn’t have to break the law to get pregnant or to miscarry, and no person should be forced into potentially breaking the law in order to choose to end a pregnancy.  

The most distressing part of having an abortion in New Zealand is not wrangling with the philosophical dilemma of where humanity starts for the foetus but when one’s own human rights will be considered.

If you're interested in New Zealand's abortion debate history, read this Auckland Libraries Research Centre blog.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


Proud to have contributed a story about abortion to Divine Feminist: Womb with a View, Bridging the Spiritual + Political throughout HERSTORY - a collection of Women’s stories and art @wombwithaview Please support this project.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


 My dog Fin.

I am very grateful to editors Eileen Pun, Matt Howard, and Fiona Moore, for including a poem of mine in Magma's Climate Change Issue, no. 72.

Works up

I've had a wonderful time giving poetry/graphic poetry workshops to local primary school children over the last couple of weeks.

Preparing materials was fun. Happy, jealous, sad, philosophical, and jolly sorry were some of the feels I incorporated. And the kids all took part enthusiastically. Every single one of them created a brilliant poem.

Here are some of the results: 

 "I want to write a poem about when mountains are penguins."

 "I want to write a poem about when the beach is like a sleeping dog."

 "I want to write a poem about when snow is a white rabbit."

Seeing the pride on a child's face as they read a poem they have created is such a marvel, the only way to describe it would be to write or draw a poem, and maybe I'll do do that. In the meantime, I'll enjoy looking at this display put up by some of the children. Well done, kids!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Blue hour

It was a bit much, I thought, for Emily Brontë to steal all the thunder on my birthday -- something I would have associated with Charlotte -- but ne' mind, pre-orders are open now for The Blue Hour Press Anthology #4, in which I am very happy to have a poem that I wrote about my daily journey to Haworth, during my research trip last year: … Many thanks to Editors, Moriah, Susan, and Heather! Suck eggs, Emily.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Man who talks

I can't locate a post thanking The Lonely Crowd for including my story "Man Who Talks to Books" in their first issue, back in 2015. There's a preview of it here. Belated and sincere thanks to Editor John Lavin.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Some things

Some Things the English made the longlist of the Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel!

"This was the inaugural year for this prize and we received 182 applications. We congratulate you on achieving the longlist for this prize. The selectors commented that: ‘the selection revealed an extraordinary diversity of writing and an enviable depth of talent. It was a difficult process to arrive at our shortlist of three novels.’"


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Blue hour

This photograph was taken on the return from my research trip to Haworth. 

I'm grateful to Moriah LaChapell, Susan Sweetland Garay, and Heather Minette, editors of The Blue Hour Press, for including my poem "I Would Love to See a Fox While I am Here" in their forthcoming anthology.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Long list

I'm over the rainbow to have made The Emma Press Poetry and Prose Pamphlets longlist - it means so much to me, it took me a day to pluck up the courage to read the email notification! Too exciting for words. Thank you all The Emma Press Team!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Flash frontier

Stoked to have a flash in with Mere Taito, Hinewirangi Kohu Morgan, Iona Winter and other glorious talents - thanks a mil to Teoti Jardine, Vaugahn Rapatahana and team FF - looking forward to reading everyone's pieces!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


It's almost a year since I worked on the illustrations for First fox, the debut fiction collection by Auckland writer Leanne Radojkovich, so it was a smashing surprise today to see Iona Winter has reviewed it in Landfall

"Radojkovich shows us things that are not often spoken of aloud, and I admire the way she illuminates the social, cultural and political in First Fox [...]"

"Stunning black and white illustrations by Rachel J. Fenton support the writing and lend another dimension to the tales."

It's a grand review, not least because it's so unusual for a reviewer to read* the illos with the text - but the benefits of doing so are clear from Iona's review. Many thanks to her, and to Landfall.