Jen Webb is Professor of Creative Practice at the University of Canberra, and Director of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research. Jen holds a PhD in cultural theory, focusing on the field of creative production, and a DCA in creative writing. She has published widely in poetry, short fiction, and scholarly works: her most recent book is Understanding Foucault: a Critical Introduction (Allen & Unwin, 2012). Her current research investigates the use of research in and through creative practice to generate new knowledge, and the relationship between poetry and innovation.

Ian Wedde is a New Zealand poet, novelist and critic who has published a number of books since the late 1970s, when his first novel Dick Seddon’s Great Dive won the Book Award for Fiction, and his Spells for Coming Out won the NZ Book Award for Poetry. He was head of art and visual culture at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa from 1994 until 2004, and now teaches art history at the University of Auckland. He was co-editor, with Harvey McQueen, of the 1985 Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse, and the 1989 Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry (1989). He was made an Officer of the Said Order (ONZM) in the 2010 Queens Birthday honours’ list, awarded an Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2006, and was the 2011–2013 Poet Laureate for New Zealand. His 15th collection of poetry, The Lifeguard: New Poems, was published earlier this year.

Slipperiness of being

A conversation

Jen Webb and Ian Wedde met in Ian’s office at the University of Auckland on 21 June 2012 to discuss Ian’s approach to the making of poems and connected issues, such as the rhythms of making work, the importance of visualisation and the relationship of poetry to knowledge.