ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bennetts, Marlene (1938 –) is a poet and writer of fiction for adults and children. Her poetry has appeared in New Zealand and overseas in anthologies including Katherine Mansfield Centennial Issue (1998), Poetry Kanto (1989), Poets for Africa (1986), and The President's Awards for Literary Excellence (1995). Her awards for poetry include the Delores Boccanera Poetry Prize, awarded by the British literary magazine Dandelion, which writes of her work: ‘Marlene Bennetts' command of words reminds us of the Greek classics...’.
A collection of poetry Beyond the Coast (2001) completes the trilogy that began in 1990 with Return to the Coast and Coastal Cornerstones. Of Ngāti Awa descent, Bennetts had eleven children's books translated into te reo Māori by the University of Waikato between 1992 and 1998. Titles translated include The Feathered Cloak, The Magic Greenstone and Who's Afraid of the Taniwha? Other titles for children include Hector to the Rescue (1996), and two novels for young adults, Wing High Gooftah (1995), and The Aroha Pendant (1999).
Bennetts is a popular participant in the Writers in Schools programme, with one school commenting: ‘We felt as if Marlene had always been part of our school. Her warmth, good humour and interest in our students made for an enjoyable and interesting day.’ At the Queen's Birthday Honours 2003, Bennetts was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (M.N.Z.M) in recognition of her services to literature.
The Impossible Swim was published by Emjay Publishing in 2003 and Skalaska's New Home was published by Emjay Publishing in 2005. Bennetts has also published a collection of poems for children, Caboodle, with Deborah Macowan (Emjay Publishing, 2005). Waikaka: A New Home was published by Emjay Publishing in 2006. Bennetts also wrote No Ordinary Flower Girl which was illustrated by Trish Bowles (Reed, 2006). In 2016, both The Forgotten Dambuster and The Little Drummer Boy (illustrated by Trish Bowles), were published by Emjay Publishing.