Anna Knox
I'm a writer and editor — including manuscript review, editorial work, typesetting, and proofreading — based in Aotearoa, New Zealand. I am currently seeking representation.

Motherhood

Essay - The Spinoff

“I started seeing motherhood as the creative process at its best, as inherent to art as war or religion or sex, and as rich with sensibilities and source material.”

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Ground Zero

Heritage magazine, Ngahuru Autumn 2022

Meeting our 2050 net-zero-carbon aspirations and addressing New Zealand’s housing crisis are among the most substantive challenges of our time. Retaining and retrofitting heritage buildings can be part of the solutions to both.

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With Pride

Heritage magazine, Raumati Summer 2021

A new project is seeing queer histories find their places in the New Zealand Heritage List/ Rārangi Kōrero - and the Thistle Inn, where Katherine Mansfield set her late-discovered story ‘Leves Amore’ is first up.

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Window to the Past

Heritage magazine, Kōanga Spring 2021

“It was the middle of winter in Dunedin, 2008. Wet. Dark. We had snow days.” It almost sounds like the start of a tall story – the kind a verbose goldminer might have told, evening getting on, the hard day’s work done.

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Ziusudra & the Black Holes

Landfall Essay Competition

Highly commended

Somewhere, at some specific moment, someone wrote the very first sentence. Imagine...
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An Artist, a Classroom, …

Review - Eyecontact

Entering the show you first notice a long, spit-like installation creeping along the right-hand edge of the room

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Ethical Meat Eating

Book Review - The Country

Anna Knox reviews On Eating Meat, by Australian food critic and farmer Matthew Evans, and reflects on its implications for New Zealand Farmers

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Her Line in the Sand

Feature article - New Zealand Listener

Omani author Jokha Alharthi talks about the challenges she’s faced getting her Booker Prize-winning novel Celestial Bodies accepted in the West.

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The Leaping Place

Longlisted — 2019 Mslexia Novel Competition

The thing is, I was supposed to have a sea burial but I didn’t. I jumped ship before it happened, in Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand, 1905, en-route to Rio with a cargo of carcasses and wool.

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Lumi

Short Story - Fresh Ink 2019

You couldn’t understand why I wanted to come here.

It’s the middle of winter, you said. No one goes north in winter.

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All the Wrong Notes Played Right

Television review - The Spinoff

Musical-theatre sceptic Anna Knox writes about her conversion to the hilarious Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, as the fourth and final season drops on Netflix.

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We Are Here - An Atlas of Aotearoa

Book Review - New Zealand Herald

Chris McDowall and Tim Denee’s We Are Here, the first general atlas of New Zealand to be published in more than 20 years, is a ground-breaking atlas for the internet era and an outstanding success on many levels.

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A Review of Celestial Bodies

Book review - The Spinoff

Many have been waiting for a book like Celestial Bodies – a story that shakes up entrenched ideas of women in the Middle East.

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Gender Bias and Art in Aotearoa

Investigation - The Spinoff

Art activist group the Guerrilla Girls has been calling out gender bias in the American art world since 1985. Their survey show, Reinventing the “F” Word, is in its final weeks at Auckland Art Gallery. But what’s the picture on gender representation closer to home?

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Same Sounds, Different Ears

Essay - The Spinoff

Orchestral music performance is an art form, but how do you engage with something you’ve never experienced before?

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Happily Ever Absurd

An Interview with Artist James R Ford

A conversation with artist James R Ford about the point of contemporary art, for his forthcoming book.

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Guy Ngan at The Dowse

Interview - The Spinoff

Anna Knox spoke to the curator of a new exhibition of Guy Ngan’s work at the gallery in the heart of his home.

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NZSO Shed Series

Review - The Spinoff

Anna Knox reviews the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s Shed Series – Responses and finds that Shed 6 transforms the experience of live classical music entirely.

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Black-hearted

Review - The Spinoff

After falling head-over-heels for Heartbreak Island, her first reality TV crush, Anna Knox returned eagerly for season two. Turns out there’s nothing like a first love to break your heart.

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The NZSO’s Classical Journey

Essay - The Spinoff

‘There’s something incredible about watching otherwise ordinary people do something extraordinary.’ A recent NZSO performance prompts Anna Knox to reflect on what makes live classical music so special.

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On a Trip with Yona Lee

Review - Eyecontact

The way in which connections are drawn between things and ideas is partly what makes Lee’s work so playful and transforms the imposing metal structure into an installation full of light, and lightness.

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On Heartbreak Island

Essay - The Spinoff

There is something fascinating in the hysteria and clamp-down which Heartbreak Island generated that tells us something important about ourselves.

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Bastion Point

Novel excerpt

Up the twisted back of the fish, writhing on its hook, to its whacking tail, the waka rocking above. Down below, the magnificent view, the harbour with Rangitoto like a cold grey eye, looks up at the Point where the protest signs have been resting for the night:

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Cover Stories

Longform - Saudi Arabia

At the entrance to the Tuesday Market, the smell of plants is strong. With the mountain air moist and crisp, and the herbs and leaves freshly picked, the fragrances carry far.

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Trails, Trees and Traps

Spoke: Issue 75

The story behind Polhill’s regeneration is about as multifaceted and easy to follow as Finnegans Wake without the protagonist.

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Desert Shrimp

Short story - Hammond House Prize 2018

We went to the Mojave to see the shrimp. In some way, I suppose, I thought the shrimp were going to save us.

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Italy — The B-Sides

Excerpt from The Shimmer & the Stream

It’s hard to remember feeling baked like stone in summer. I’m a cicada skin. I shake when I lift the shovel trying to spread the dug-up dirt around, left over from the new plants.

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The Overwhelm

Review - EyeContact

The show is one huge palindrome, with Pound knows how many instances of reflection. Almost every image has a second: shadow, mirror, double.

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Perceiving Saudi Feminism

Review - EyeContact

Put the meta-narrative of repression aside for a moment and the work expands. There is menace and sadness in these images… but there is also joy…

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Every House Has Its Own Story

Essay - City Gallery Wellington

Alneami’s images of people at a theme park in Abha instantly evoke the energy and contradictions of Saudi society.

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Turere Lodge, Remutaka Forest Park

Wilderness: September 2018

When my husband wanted to go overnight tramping for his 40th birthday, along with our two kids and three other families, I was hesitant.

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Woman on a Bicycle

Personal Essay — Saudi Arabia

In the Saudi Arabian desert it takes time for your eyes to adjust to the light. Slowly you see through the haze: A hill here, a camel there, a thorn bush. A line of sea on the horizon.

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The Language of Trace

Travel — Saudi Arabia

‘Fifty years ago,’ says Omar, ‘No woman covered her face in our region.’ He is the second high-ranking Saudi from Azir who has taken pains to communicate this.

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