Mike Johnson


Writer, Teacher, Publisher

Mike Johnson was born in Canterbury, New Zealand, and never quite recovered…

Make up a history, a cut up of a life. Create a Mike Johnson out of these selected raw materials. A plausible self, complete with personal details – I am a fictional character I have enlisted over the years for the purpose of writing these mini biographies. I’ve made up this character called Mike Johnson who spent his life with words and who writes books and blogs.

+ Books and Other Major Works

2017 - Confessions of a Cockroach/Headstone. Lasavia Publishing

2015 - Taniwha (With Jennifer Rackham). Lasavia Publishing

2014 - Hold my Teeth While I Teach you to Dance. Lasavia Publishing Ltd: Auckland. A novel.

2014 - The Angel of Compassion. Lasavia Publishing Ltd: Auckland. Non-fiction.

2004 – Stench, Hazard Press: Christchurch. A novel.

2001 – Counterpart. Harper Collins: Sydney. A novel.

1996 – Dumb Show. Longacre Press: Dunedin. A novel.

1996 – Treasure Hunt. Auckland University Press: Auckland. Poetry.

1991 – Lethal Dose. Hard Echo Press: Auckland. A novel.

1991 – Foreigners. Penguin Books: Auckland. Three novellas.

1991 – Mary Mouse, Manuscript of Children’s Poetry, broadcast on NZ National Radio.

1987 – Antibody Positive. Hard Echo Press, Auckland. A novel.

1986 – Lear: The Shakespeare Company Plays Lear at Babylon. Hard Echo Press, Auckland. A novel.

1985 – Standing Wave. Hard Echo Press, Auckland. Poetry.

1984 – From a Woman in Mt Eden Prison & Drawing Lessons. Hard Echo Press, Auckland. Poetry.

1983 – The Palanquin Ropes. Voice Press, Wellington. Poetry.

1973 – Dialogue. Whitcomb and Tombs, Christchurch. A text for senior English. Co-author with A.T. Johnson.

Pending: To Beatrice Where We Crossed The Line. Second Avenue Press: Auckland. Poetry. Due March, 2014.

+ Anthologized Short Stories

Only those stories anthologized are listed. The list does not include stories, or novel excerpts, published in magazines or literary periodicals.

2009 – ‘A visit to Te Wharau Bay: A Conversation at the End of the World’ (Random House). The Best New Zealand Fiction # 6. Edited by Owen Marshall.

2006 – ‘The Wedding of Psyche’ (Reed Books). The myth of the 21st Century. Ed by Tina Shaw and Jack Ross.

1998 – ‘Towards the bottom of the garden, the plum blossom shows pink.’ (Tandem) One hundred Short Short Stories Ed by Graham Lay.

1996 – ‘The Fohn Effect’ (IPL) Antipodean Tales Ed. by Geoff Churchman.

1995 – ‘Teledildonics’ Lust (Vintage) Ed. by Michael Giftkins.

1995 – ‘When That Shark Bites’ Men Love Sex (Vintage, Australia) Ed. by Alan Close.

1995 – ‘Rutherford’s Dream’ Rutherford’s Dreams (IPL) Ed. by Warwick Bennett and Patrick Hudson.

1994 – ‘The Harmony of the Swine’ Tart and Juicy (Vintage) Ed. by Michael Giftkins.

1992 – ‘The Woman of Tuscany House’ Erotic Writing (Penguin) Ed. by Sue McCauley and Richard Mc Lachlan.

Anthologized Short Stories 2008 & 2009 – Stench film option renewed by POP films.

2007 – Stench film option renewed by POP films.

2006 – Stench film option renewed by POP films.

2005 – Stench option sold to Vicky Pope of POP films ltd. Film in development.

2001 – Short film script ‘Hatto’ wins NZ Film Commission Funding for production in 2002. Value $69 000 dollars

2000 – Expression of formal interest from South Pacific Pictures to convert Stench into a film script.

1998 – Employed by director Ellory Elkayem to write a screen play for Signs of Life based on an original story by Ellory, funded by the NZ Film Commission..

1998 – Independent film maker Karen Rook, purchases an option on Lear (1986) (Project not completed.)

1997 – South Pacific Pictures purchases an option on novel Dumb Show (1996). Mike Johnson given role of script advisor. Project not completed.

1997 – Employed by Reston Griffiths (Park Avenue Advertising) to write a feature film based on an original idea by Reston.

+ Awards and Fellowships

2006 – Wellington composer Carol Shortis wins the Philip Neil Memorial Prize with a song entitled ‘The riddle of her flight’ with the lyrics of a poem from Mike Johnson’s book Treasure Hunt.

2002 – Nominated for the Sir Julius Vogel Award for the novel Counterpart.

2002 – Auckland University Literary Fellowship. Value: $50.000.

2001 – Creative NZ project grant for work on a novel. Value $9,000.

1999 – Francis Keane Award for best short story, ‘Magic Strings.’

1997 – Buckland Memorial Literary Award for the novel, Dumb Show.

1996 – Creative NZ Project Grant for work on a novel (Counterpart). Value $18,000.

1992 – Playwrights Grant for working on dramatizing of Lear: Value: $3000.

1990 – Literary Fund Project Grant for work on fiction. Value $9000.

1988 – Literary Fund Project Grant for work on a novel. Value: $6000.

1987 – Literary Fellowship for twelve months at the University of Canterbury. (Writer in Residence.) Value $40,000.

1986 – Lear. A novel. Shortlisted for New Zealand Book Awards.

1985 – Literary Fund Project Grant for prose writing. Value: $3000.

1982 – Poetry Prize: Te Awamutu Festival of the Arts.

1981 – Co winner of the John Cowie Reed Memorial Competition for a long poem or sequence of poems, with The Palanquin Ropes.

+ Mike Johnson the Teacher

I began teaching creative writing in 1987, during a year as Literary Fellow at the University Canterbury, and have been teaching it ever since. Throughout the 1990’s I taught night classes for what was then The Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Auckland. These classes had wonderful names, like ‘Develop your Creative Writing Potential!’ In 2003 I began working for the English Department at the University of Auckland, teaching across a range of undergraduate creative and academic writing classes, including The Short Story and Contemporary Poetry both at stage 3 level.

In 2005 I worked in the first year of The University of Auckland’s Master’s in Creative Writing program (MCW), which continued until 2008, when I shifted to AUT University, teaching both undergrad and postgrad creative writing, and where, in 2014, at the time of writing this, I am still working.

Leila Lees


Artist, Writer, Healer

Leila is a teacher and facilitator in nature awareness, shamanic practice and plant spirit medicine. She has a range of vibrational medicine, Lasavia Essences, and works with the medicine of our nature allies on an energetic and emotional level.

Leila has supported hundreds of people to access their own inner guidance, enabling people to integrate their intuition and experiences of the non-ordinary world into their lives. She has trained shamanic practitioners and established sacred circles.

In traditional cultures each village would have a Wise Woman or Wise Man whose connection to the otherworld would guide those in times of crisis or at times of important decision making. Leila is the wise woman at the fire side who will see a scope of reality just out of reach and bring it into your view. This is a form of guidance and midwifery where you do all the work but with the guidance of a self assured and grounded companion. If we sometimes seek to improve our lives and the lives of those around us with self enquiry and self work then Leila can provide the safe environment and guidance to support you in this journey of discovery.

More about Leila and Lasavia Healing

+ Books

2019 - Into the World. Lasavia Publishing.

2017 - Two Lines and a Garden. Lasavia Publishing.

Jack Ross

Jack and Friend.JPG


I love writing poetry and fiction. Over the past couple of decades I’ve published five poetry collections, four novels, and three books of short fiction, as well as numerous chapbooks.

I’ve also edited a number of books and journals, including a trilogy of New Zealand Poets in Performance audio/text anthologies (Auckland University Press, 2006-8), Landfall (2007) and Poetry New Zealand (2014-19).

In my other life, I work as a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Massey University’s Albany Campus, and live with my wife, crafter and art-writer Bronwyn Lloyd, in sunny Mairangi Bay.

As you’ll gather from the title of my new book, Ghost Stories, the supernatural is something of great interest to me, along with book-collecting, cat worship, and travel.

The Imaginary Museum [blog] http://mairangibay.blogspot.com/

Showcase [writing homepage] http://jacksshowcase.blogspot.com/

Opinions [essays & reviews] http://jackrossopinions.blogspot.com/

Works & Days [complete bibliography] http://hesiodic.blogspot.com/

+ Books

2019 – Ghost Stories (Auckland: Lasavia Publishing) [short stories]

2017 – The Annotated Tree Worship (Auckland: Paper Table) [novel]

2014 – A Clearer View of the Hinterland: Poems & Sequences 1981-2014 (Wellington: HeadworX) [poetry]

2012 – Celanie: Poems & Drawings after Paul Celan [with Emma Smith] (Auckland: Pania Press) [poetry / translation]

2010 – Kingdom of Alt (Auckland: Titus Books) [short stories]

2008 – EMO (Auckland: Titus Books) [novel]

2007 – To Terezín (Auckland: Massey University) [poetry / travelogue]

2006 – The Imaginary Museum of Atlantis (Auckland: Titus Books) [novel]

2005 – Trouble in Mind (Auckland: Titus Books) [novella]

2004 – Monkey Miss Her Now (Auckland: Danger Publishing) [short stories]

2002 – Chantal’s Book (Wellington: HeadworX) [poetry]

2000 – Nights with Giordano Bruno (Wellington: Bumper Books) [novel]

1998 – City of Strange Brunettes (Auckland: Pohutukawa Press) [poetry]

+ Edited

2014-19 – Poetry NZ Yearbook. 5 vols (Auckland: Massey University Press) [poetry journal]

2010 – 11 Views of Auckland [with Grant Duncan] (Auckland: Massey University) [non-fiction]

2009 – Poetry NZ 38 [poetry journal]

2007 – Landfall 214 [literary journal]

2006-8 – Classic, Contemporary & New New Zealand Poets in Performance [with Jan Kemp] 3 vols (Auckland: Auckland University Press) [poetry]

2006 – Myth of the 21st Century: An Anthology of New Fiction [with Tina Shaw] (Auckland: Reed) [fiction]

2004 – Golden Weather: North Shore Writers Past & Present [with Graeme Lay] (Auckland: Cape Catley) [poetry / fiction]

2002-5; 2014 – brief 24-32; 50 [literary journal]

1999-2003 – Spin 33, 36, 39, 42 & 45 [poetry journal]

1998-99 – The Pander 3-9 (co-editor) [cultural quarterly]

Jennifer Rackham


Writer, illustrator, comic artist

Jennifer Rackham grew up in Rotorua and was told by her mother that "she had no talent in art and should give up to save her the time and pain." In order to prove her mother wrong, she continued art in secret and published her art in Japan and in New Zealand.

Fantasy is her true calling and she's a lover of different mediums of storytelling. 

She is both a writer and an illustrator.

Her first novel is A Dash of Belladonna.

When she's not writing or drawing, she can be seen meowing at cats around Auckland and hitting giant drums while yelling.

+ Books

2017 - A Dash of Belladonna. Lasavia Publishing.

+ Comics

2010 - Present - Fox Rain. Published online at https://tapas.io/series/Fox-Rain

2014 - A Dash of Bella Donna - A Curly Potion.

2012 - Alien in Hita. Hita Comics, Oita, Japan.

+ Children's Books

2015 - Taniwha (with Mike Johnson). Lasavia Publishing.

Belinda Aycrigg

Grandmother, Writer, Teacher

Belinda Aycrigg did a degree in Social Anthropology at Cambridge University and more recently a Masters in Creative Writing at the Auckland University of Technology. In between, she has taught, written plays and maintained a fascination for alternative realities and life styles. She lives in Auckland with her family including two grandsons. Ocean of Milk is her first novel.  

+ Books

2018 - Ocean of Milk. Lasavia Publishing

Rowan Sylva



Rowan Sylva is a New Zealand based author and activist. Born in 1986, Rowan spent several years drifting between different jobs and places. He studied history at Victoria University of Wellington and then went on to complete a Master of Creative Writing at Auckland University of Technology. He enjoys exploring remote corners of the world and observing the maelstrom of its great cities.

+ Books

2016 - Swamp Gum. Lasavia Publishing

+ Children's Books

2019 - Little Fox and the Rainsticks, illustrated by Daniela Gast. Lasavia Publishing

Sophia Hardy


Poet, writer

Sophia Hardy published her first book full book of poetry  'Jupiter's Perigee' in 2017, after numerous contributions to poetry journals and books. Although occasionally narrated in first person Hardy's poems are often character studies, and frequently include historical persons. 

+ Books

2017 - Jupiter's Perigee. Lasavia Publishing

Sid Marsh


Writer, artist

I live on Waiheke Island and am a fulltime writer & artist. I have had eight books published. I'm currently painting works for a co-exhibition Tigers & Tribals (in 2018) with my daughter Hazel. I have been studying the Bengal tiger since 2010 and plan on publishing an ethnographical natural history book sometime around 2020.

I have reinvented myself a number of times over my life: heavy machinery operator; soldier; diving instructor; wildlife ranger etc. My main interests are: reading; arthouse movies; jogging; independent travelling; and eating at KFC & McDonald's.

+ Graphic Novels

2017 - Crow of Wahreatua. Lasavia Publishing

+ Books

2017 - Her I Loved. Rangitawa Publishing

2014 - Some Notes on the Brown Kiwi of Taranaki. Wooden Shed

2013 - Some Notes on the Rowi & Blue-hen of Westland. Wooden Shed

2005 - Kiwi Hunter. Halcyon Press

1991 - Diver's Tales. Reed

Interested in becoming a Lasavia Publishing Author?