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Arthur, Jane
Author photo: Tabitha Arthur
Writer's File

Jane Arthur

Wellington - Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Arthur, Jane
Author photo: Tabitha Arthur
In brief
Jane Arthur is a poet, children’s writer, and editor based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. She holds multiple Master’s degrees, has published two award-winning poetry collections, and published her debut children’s novel, Brown Bird (Penguin Random House NZ) in 2024. Jane was a founding editor of children’s literature website ‘The Sapling’. She has more than twenty years of bookselling and publishing experience.
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Arthur, Jane (1981 - ) was born in Taranaki and now resides in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. She holds a Master of Arts (Distinction) in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington (2015), a Diploma in Publishing from Whitireia Polytechnic (2008), and a Master of Arts (Honours) in English Literature from the University of Auckland (2004).

Along with fellow children’s literature expert Sarah Forster, Jane founded The Sapling, an online space dedicated to children’s books, in 2017. The site celebrates excellence and diversity in children’s literature, promotes discussion and community based on books, and also aims to entice fresh readership. The Sapling was awarded the 2018 Special Industry Award at the NZ Book Industry Awards.

In 2018 Jane won the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize, judged by US poet Eileen Myles. Myles described Arthur as “a poet of scale and embodiment.” The following year, her debut collection, Craven, was published by then-Victoria University Press.

Craven was selected as one of the Top 10 Best New Zealand Poetry Collections of 2019 by The Spinoff and was on the longlist for the 2020 Ockham NZ Book Awards, where it won the 2020 Jessie Mackay Prize for Poetry (Best First Book Award). Also in 2019, Jane was a member of the judging panel for the 2019 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

In 2020, Jane was awarded an Emerging Writers Residency from the Michael King Writers Centre, and was also named a "40 Under 40" inspiring alumni of the University of Auckland. The same year, she teamed up with bestselling novelist Catherine Robertson to establish a small independent bookstore, GOOD BOOKS, in central Pōneke Wellington. GOOD BOOKS closed in 2024 but was described as “a book lover’s wildest dreams come true” by Neat Places.

Jane was on the judging panel of the poetry category for the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Jane’s second poetry collection, Calamities!, was published in 2023 by Te Herenga Waka University Press and was longlisted for the Mary and Peter Biggs Poetry Prize at the Ockham NZ Book Awards 2024. Paula Green, writing for Poetry Shelf, described it as “a glorious translation of being, of existence in an unsettled world.”

Jane's debut children's novel, Brown Bird, was published in May 2024 with Puffin/Penguin Random House NZ.

April 2024
April 2024