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281 Karangahape Rd Auckland

Rachel O'Neill

One Human in Height


Rachel O'Neill’s debut collection is a book of exuberant and at times irreverent prose poems that fuse remembered experience, family life, and relationships with broader human legacies, from popular culture, and social history, through to digital technology. The book includes a thief who plays a musical interlude on an oboe before getting down to business, a botanical species, the Kafka Diver, that lures in guests for an unusual holiday on the sub-alpine platform, a talent show called Wicked Witch Idol, and a parachutist who free-falls to her family reunion. ‘We all sift through the drift of inheritance to find what is magnetic, useful and active. I wanted the poems to do the same – to lend freshness to our habits of looking and thinking,’ said O'Neill.

Rachel O’Neill is a writer, filmmaker and artist based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa. A widely published author of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, Rachel has received a range of writing grants, residencies and commissions. Recently, she was awarded a SEED Grant (NZWG/NZFC) to write a feature film and held an Emerging Writers Residency at the Michael King Writers Centre. She holds a BA/BFA Conjoint Degree from the University of Auckland/Elam School of Fine Arts, a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters, and a Poupou Huia Te Reo Certificate, Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Aotearoa.