Anna Smaill

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Anna Smaill
BornAnna Smaill
April 1979
Auckland, New Zealand
OccupationPoet, Violinist
NationalityNew Zealand
Alma materUniversity of Auckland
Victoria University of Wellington
University College London
Notable awardsWorld Fantasy Award for Best Novel 2016.
SpouseCarl Shuker

Anna Smaill (born April 1979) is a New Zealand poet and novelist, and a former violinist.

Early life and education[edit]

Smaill was born in Auckland in 1979. She started playing the violin aged seven.[1] She studied musical performance at the University of Canterbury in the late 1990s and during her time at Canterbury, she decided to not become a professional violinist, but pursue a career in writing instead. She began studying English and music theory, before changing to the University of Auckland, from where she graduated with a master's degree in English.[2] She spent the following year in Wellington at Victoria University of Wellington, from where she graduated with a masters in creative writing.[3] She lived in Tokyo, Japan, from 2004 to 2006. Smaill started a PhD in contemporary American poetry at University College London in the United Kingdom, and finished it after returning to live in Wellington in 2013.[2] She was a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Hertfordshire from 2009 to 2012.[4]


Smaill was included in the Best New Zealand Poems series in 2002[5] and 2005.[6] Her first collection of poetry, The Violinist in Spring, was published in 2006. Her first novel, The Chimes, was published in 2015 and was longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize,[7][8] but did not make the shortlist.[9] She had been unaware that her publisher had submitted The Chimes for the award.[3] The Chimes was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in October 2016. Smaill writes her work in longhand before typing it up.[3] The collection of poems and her debut novel are the only two books published by Smaill so far, but as of 2015, she has started writing a second novel.[10]


Smaill met the novelist Carl Shuker while studying at Victoria University. They married in 2010 and have one daughter.[3]


  1. ^ Kidd, James (14 February 2015). "Anna Smaill interview: When she thought music was her calling, writing struck a chord". The Independent. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b Gates, Charlie (15 August 2015). "Christchurch inspires Booker nominee". The Press. p. A12. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Salter, Caitlin (6 August 2015). "Wellington author Anna Smaill gains world recognition". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Anna Smaill: Feel the fear and read it anyway". Booknotes. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  5. ^ Smither, Elizabeth (March 2003). "Best New Zealand Poems 2002-Introduction". Best New Zealand Poems. International Institute of Modern Letters. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  6. ^ Johnston, Andrew (March 2006). "Best New Zealand Poems 2005-Contents". Best New Zealand Poems. International Institute of Modern Letters. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Man Booker Prize announces 2015 longlist". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Smaill, Anna". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Pulitzer winner makes Booker Prize shortlist". BBC News. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  10. ^ "New Zealand writer longlisted for Man Booker Prize". The New Zealand Herald. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2015.

External links[edit]