William (Bill) Direen is a New Zealand writer and musician. His novels use narrative techniques ranging from first person to transgeneric, and are set in places as various as Berlin, Paris and the South Island of New Zealand. For his work as a musician see The Bilders.
Devonport, A Diary Impressions of Devonport, Auckland, during the tenure of the University of Auckland Fellowship at the Michael King Writers Centre in 2010. (Signalmans House Series Nº.1, Holloway Press, University of Auckland, 2011) ISBN 978-0-9864618-0-4
L. A novella, set in New Zealand in the midst of guerrilla warfare between two economic factions; the world has been reshaped after geological upheavals. Published in an anthology of NZ speculative fiction writers A Foreign Country. (Random Static. Anna Caro & Juliet Buchanan, editors). 2010. ISBN 978-0-473-16916-9
Enclosures Transgeneric novel in five parts including Jonah (at Kapiti), The Stadium (history of a people confined to a biosphere), and autobiographical content. (Titus). 2008. ISBN 978-1-877441-06-6
Song of the Brakeman (novel, 2006). Apocalyptic vision of a future South Pacific. Science fiction novel. ISBN 0-9582586-7-8
Editor Percutio, ISSN 1953-1427, a trans-cultural literary annual (poetry, fiction extracts, translations & versions, essays, reviews and history). 2006, -07, -08, -09, -10, -11, -12, -13, -14. Guest Editor of Landfall #219 'On Music'. ISBN (of #219 only) 978-1-877372 98-8; brief #36 and #42 (ISSN 1175-9313).
Early theatre work (1981–87): "hard driving rhythms and surreal imagery".
James K. Baxter’s Three Mimes "receive[d] intelligent and effective treatment".
To Bitumen (play) "an evocative memory piece… strong on physical sensations".
To Fowkes Alive (music-theatre): "a struggle against primeval and futuristic obstacles", "a gentle ‘musical delirium’ which raises smiles rather than laughter", "the surrealistic tale of a ‘petrolhead’ whose life flashes before his eyes the moment that he dies in a violent accident"
To Dial a Claw (music-theatre): "a living experiment in alternative staging";
To Raoul (song cycle): "an exploration of exploitation", a story told "from its beginnings in the wastelands of kiwi suburbia to its chilly… conclusion.".
To Wormwood: "Entropy and death read as metaphors for the implosion of post-war Europe and the failure of capitalism.".
To Nusquama: "A well-written often humorous paradigm for the 21st century".
To The Impossible: "Direen’s heightened ear for absurdity serves this collection well"
To Jules: "Romantic stereotypes collide noisily with modern realities and growing older means a confused prostate and even more complexing emotions. Jules is the story of a man at life’s pivotal point.". "It's a delightful book, but it's a book to read as series of literary compositions." Jules was also described as "an indolent digression through European culture, art and Paris."
To the novellas: "a quick and devastating appearance"
To Song of the Brakeman: "a vividly conceived world here, manifesting slowly and brilliantly through its accumulating signs"