Place of Birth
Dunedin, New Zealand
ATCL, Wellington Polytechnic Certificate of Music, Victoria University-University of Otago BA, University of Otago BEd, Dunedin Teachers College Cert Tchg, University of Otago MEd, Massey University Albany, PGCert Ed Psych
Jenny Powell began her steady output of poems at age 13. During secondary school she learnt the french horn and went on to study music at Wellington Polytechnic. Following this she began an arts degree at university, worked part-time in a bookstore and continued playing the horn, including in the National Youth Orchestra of New Zealand. Powell eventually moved back to Dunedin, completing her degree and working in numerous part-time positions. She trained to become a school teacher.
In 1998 her first poetry collection, Sweet Banana Wax Peppers was published, followed by Hats, Four French Horns, and Viet Nam; a poet’s journey.
Her interest in poetic experimentation led to two collaborative collections, the first being Double Jointed with ten other poets, and the second being Locating the Madonna written with poet Anna Jackson. Her other poetry collections are Ticket Home, Trouble and South D Poet Lorikeet. She has dabbled in short stories, and has written an investigation into the body/mind connection; The Case of the Missing Body.
Her interest in collaboration is reflected in two performance pieces. The first to be staged was Montecillo Child, for soundscape, images and voices. The second was Alive in Berlin for music, film and performer.
Powell and NZ composer Anthony Ritchie have written Toitu’s Song, a commissioned work for children’s voices and orchestra.
Awards include being a finalist in the UK Plough Poetry Prize, two times finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Arts Award (UK), short listed in the Welsh Poetry Competition, runner-up in the UK Mslexia Poetry Competition, shortlisted in the New Zealand Society of Authors Janet Frame Memorial Award, shortlisted in the inaugural NZ Book Month ‘Six Pack’ Competition, and winner of the Dunedin Chinese Garden Harvest Moon Poetry Competition.