Skip to content
Horrocks, Ingrid
Author photo: Ebony Lamb
Writer's File

Ingrid Horrocks

Wellington - Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Horrocks, Ingrid
Author photo: Ebony Lamb
In brief
Dr Ingrid Horrocks writes creative non-fiction and poetry. She holds a PhD from Princeton University. Her first collection of poems, Natsukashii (1998), and her second, an unconventional travel book, Travelling with Augusta, 1883 & 1999 (2003), both deal with what Horrocks calls ‘the possibilities of travel writing and memoir’, a theme which is echoed in her latest publication, 'Where We Swim' (THWUP, 2021).
  • Te Herenga Waka University Press


Horrocks, Dr Ingrid (1975- ) was born in Hamilton and lived in Auckland and the Wairarapa before moving to Wellington where she completed a BA (Hons) in English at Victoria University of Wellington. Horrocks then went to the University of York, England, where she completed an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies. In 2001 Horrocks left New Zealand to work on a doctorate in English Literature at Princeton University. In 2003 she received an additional MA in English from Princeton, and in 2006 she finished her PhD.

Horrocks' first two books both deal with what she calls ‘the possibilities of travel writing and memoir.’ The first is a collection of poems, Natsukashii (Pemmican Press, 1998) and the second is an unconventional travel book, Travelling with Augusta, 1883 & 1999 (VUP, 2003).

Writing in the New Zealand Listener, Bill Direen called Natsukashii ‘astounding’ and Horrocks ‘a wonderful new talent’. A sentiment echoed by John Allison in New Zealand Books who called the collection an ‘exquisitely evoked memoire of a trip to Japan’.

In a review of Travelling with Augusta in the Otago Daily Times, Elizabeth Isichei called Horrocks ‘one of several young New Zealanders who excel both in academic research and creative writing.’ Diana Balham in the New Zealand Listener says that ‘Horrocks writes beautifully and simply. She is not only a keen observer but also that most fortunate of travellers – someone that things happen to.’

Horrocks has also published poetry and short fiction in Landfall, Sport, NZ Books, and JAAM. Her work has also been anthologised in Mutes and Earthquakes (VUP, 1997) and New Zealand Writing: The NeXt Wave (University of Otago Press, 1998).

Mapping the Distance was released by Victoria University Press in 2010. Broad in scope, the collection of poems spans a ten-year period in Horrocks’ life. In a review for NZ Books, Catherine Vidler suggests the poems are intimate yet direct in their language and tone, helping them cover ‘a wide surface area’. To Vidler, the poems ‘explore a significant range of personal and emotional territories, such as overseas student experiences, relationships with friends, family and partner, and becoming pregnant using IVF technologies.’

Hamesh Wyatt reviewed the collection for the Otago Daily Times and he described Horrocks’ poems as ‘simple yet inspired.’

Awards for Horrocks' writing include a Michael King Writers Residency and the Macmillan Brown Prize for Writers. She is a member of the NonfictioNOW International Board, organising NonfictioNOW2021, held in Wellington in December 2021. She is especially interested in building Trans-Tasman literary connections and is a Consultant NZ-Aotearoa Editor to the Sydney Review of Books.

In 2021, Horrocks published Where We Swim (Te Herenga Waka University Press), a book described as 'part memoir, part travel and nature writing.' Elizabeth Knox writes of the work: '...She brilliantly contrasts heady plunges of bodily experience with chilling alarms about family. This book is filled with wanderlust, but also homesickness for a past when our waterways didn't have high coliform counts and Wellington’s bays weren’t soupy with saIp, and for the whole swimmable world it so vividly remembers.’

Dr. Ingrid Horrocks was an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Massey University until 2022, when she became an honorary research associate at the same. In 2024 she has been appointed Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence.

    March 2024
    March 2024