Gemma Lovewell lives in Wellington with her parents and younger brother, in a house filled with books. She goes to Adventure School, and loves to try everything life has to offer. Gemma wrote her first poem when she was 3 years old, and has since then has had articles, stories and poems published in magazines, newspapers and on websites. She published The Big Box when she was five with the help of Joy Cowley.
Gemma has written the bios and the questions. Patricia has a beautiful lullaby in A Treasury of New Zealand Poetry for Children.
Patricia Grace is a famous New Zealand writer, who is well known overseas as well as locally. Her first book was called Waiariki. It was published in 1975 and it was the first collection of short stories by a Māori woman writer. She got started in writing by entering her work in competitions. Since then she has won many awards and been recognised in the New Zealand order of merit.
What is your favourite thing to do?
I really enjoy reading and writing and I love family picnics and barbecues.
Do you have a favourite poem, and what do you like about it?
My favourite poem is ‘Rain’ by Hone Tuwhare. It brings with it the sounds, smells and feelings of rain. [Note from Paula: This poem is in the Treasury!]
What kind of writing do you find the most enjoyable?
Fiction. I like reading novels best of all.
Of the many awards you have won, which award is the most important to you?
They are all important to me. I really appreciate the recognition of my work that each award brings.
Have you had any poems published before?
I had a poem published many years ago, but I don’t usually write poetry.
If you were not a writer, what would you be?
I used to be a teacher, and liked that very much. If I wasn’t a full time writer, and if I was younger, I would like to be a teacher again.
Do you think poetry is important for kids, and why or why not?
Yes, poetry is important for kids – reading it and writing it. Poetry makes you think and feel. It allows you to express your feelings about a wide range of topics and helps you to think about language and use words well.
Thanks for the great interview Gemma and Patricia!