Meet Our New Staff Writers
Introducing our new all-star line-up of staff writers: Tayi Tibble, Lucinda Bennett, Vanessa Crofskey and Kate Prior
We mentioned a few weeks ago that we’ve been making some changes at Pantograph Punch HQ, and one of those has been the creation of five staff writer positions. We’re still on the hunt for our fifth (could it be you? Apply here), but in the meantime, we're thrilled to welcome Tayi Tibble, Vanessa Crofskey, Lucinda Bennett and Kate Prior to the team – they’ll be writing regularly across the site and sliding into your inboxes:
Tayi Tibble is a poet and writer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Ngāti Porou/Te Whānau ā Apanui).
In 2017 she completed an MA at the International Institute of Modern Letters, and her first book, Poūkahangatus, won Best First Book of Poetry at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2019.
Her work has been published in Starling, The Spinoff, The Wireless and Poetry Magazine. Her essay ‘On Being Skux’ is one of the best pieces we’ve published ever. Tayi has also been working at Toi Māori Aotearoa, where among other things she’s been editing the Toi Māori blog, profiling Māori artists and creatives.
“The Bratz taught me that diversity is hot. Of the four original dolls, one was Pākehā, one was Hispanic, one was African American, and one was Asian. Barbie was always white. Cloe, Yasmin, Sasha and Jade were 100 percent home girls and a healthy example of true e hoas.”
Lucinda Bennett fka our Visual Arts Editor is a freelance writer published across numerous print and online platforms, including Art New Zealand, Art + Australia, Art Collector, ARTSPACE, Bowerbank Ninow, Public Art Dialogue and by artist commission. In 2017 she was the CNZ Curatorial Intern in Contemporary Art at Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
She holds an MA with First Class Honours in Art History and has also worked as a summer research scholar, graduate teaching assistant and curator at Window Gallery. She also has a background in theatre, having founded an independent theatre company Lucy & Luke Create through which three of her scripts have been produced.
Alongside her writing work, Lucinda is currently studying to be a high school art history and English teacher.
“At around the age of 15, I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), a condition that meant I was physically and mentally exhausted more often than not. Even during periods of relative wellness, it was rare for me to complete a full school day. However, worse than the illness itself was not being believed.”
Vanessa Crofskey is a writer and artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her work spans poetry, performance, essay and installation because she’s an indecisive Libra. She likes to interrogate language, intimacy, architecture and swimming.
Described as a ‘star of spoken word’, Vanessa was the recipient of two Auckland Fringe Festival Awards in both 2017 and 2019 (the Auckland Theatre Company’s Here and Now Award and the Auckland Arts Festival Fringe Award, plus twice for best show in the Spoken Word category). She is the Auckland Regional Poetry Slam Champion for 2017, and a previous Slam Champion of The University of Auckland.
Vanessa’s poetry has been performed and published across multiple spaces, including Scum Mag, Dear Journal, Hainamana, Starling, Turbine | Kapohau, Kitaab (Best of 2018) and Auckland Museum. She has written essays for the NZ Herald, The Pantograph Punch and The Spinoff.
Having trained in sculpture, Vanessa has exhibited in online and offline sites since graduating from AUT in 2017, ranging from the Performance Arcade to RM Gallery. She is a Window Gallery curator for 2019, was the 2018 Producer in Residence at Basement Theatre and performed in Alice Canton’s Other: [chinese].
“Beauty and appearance are both very important to me and so are the high fashion platform Crocs of 2018!!!”
Kate Prior is a writer, producer, dramaturg, and performer working across theatre and film. She graduated from Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School in 2004 and completed a Master of Dramaturgy at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2015.
Kate will be familiar to our readers as our former Theatre Editor, and has worked as a dramaturg for Silo Theatre, Basement Theatre, Playmarket, St Martins Youth Arts (Melbourne) and independent New Zealand companies The Town Centre, Red Leap, White Mess and Last Tapes Theatre Company. Kate also makes films and wrote and produced short film Eleven which was selected to screen at over 15 international festivals including Berlin International Film Festival, and won Best Short Film Script and Best Short Film at the New Zealand Film Awards 2014. She has worked as an Arts Adviser at Creative New Zealand, a writer and creative producer for Notable Pictures and as an archivist on five-part TVNZ series Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy.
“I trained as an actor and a practitioner and I’ve never wanted to be a critic. But I’ve always wanted to make, analyse, support and deconstruct performance ... I just wanna have more robust, useful, caring conversations and help our New Zealand-ass non-confrontational softness understand that to support is also to challenge. Critical advocacy is possible.”