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13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Film (Excerpts) – 2013

This Richard Riddiford documentary collects together stories about the creative writing course at Victoria University. The storytellers are a roll call of names who have studied and taught there, from course founder Bill Manhire to current Insititute of Modern Letters director Damien Wilkins. Writers praise the gentle style of teaching and sense of community (and feedback). Eleanor Catton talks about the journey from her first novel The Rehearsal, written while at Victoria, to the first sentence of The Luminaries. The doco is named after a poem by American Wallace Stevens.

For me it was the first time I had showed anyone any work, so that was huge and quite daunting...and really useful, because for the first time you're putting stuff out there, and getting a reaction from people.
– Poet Jenny Bornholdt

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Messenger Films

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Logo for Messenger Films

Messenger Films