57. Māori Poets Celebrate Matariki

An exciting group of Māori poets – several of the country’s leading poets and some emerging writers – will come together to celebrate Matariki* with readings and korero** at a free event on Saturday June 28.

Māori Poets Celebrate Matariki features Ben Brown from Lyttelton, Apirana Taylor from Kapiti, with Auckland’s own Robert Sullivan, and social historian, novelist and poet, Kelly Ana Morey, from Mangawhai. It also features writer Te Awhina Arahanga, publisher and poet Kiri Piahana-Wong, and an emerging young poet Amber Esau.

This is a rare opportunity to hear some of the leading Māori poets in Aotearoa today, together with the next generation of talented young writers. It is a free event, part of the 2014 Matariki Festival, supported by Auckland Council and the Michael King Writers’ Centre.

Ben Brown (Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Mahuta) writes short stories and non-fiction, as well as poetry, and has collaborated on many award-winning books for young readers. He held the Māori Writer’s Residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in 2011, when he worked on his recently published reflections on mana Between the Kindling and the Blaze.

Apirana Taylor (Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Ruanui) has published widely, including poetry, short stories, novels and works for children. He is active in theatre, sound and video recordings, acting and teaching drama.

Robert Sullivan (Ngā Puhi) is a poet and academic, with numerous volumes to his name and an international following. He runs the creative writing programme at MIT in Manukau.

Kelly Ana Morey (Ngāti Kuri), from Mangawhai, has written four novels, three social histories and a memoir about her childhood in Papua New Guinea, as well as poetry. She holds the current Māori Writer’s Residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre.

Kiri Piahana-Wong (Ngāti Ranginui) is a poet, editor and publisher, whose first collection Night Swimming was published last year. She runs Anahera Press which aims to provide a publication platform for authors outside the mainstream, particularly work that fosters the telling of culturally diverse stories.

Te Awhina Arahanga (Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Te Ati Haunui A Paparangi, Ngāti Hauiti ki Rata Rapuwai, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu) is originally from Christchurch, but currently lives in Devonport. She held the MKWC Māori Writer’s Residency in 2012. She writes poetry, short stories and social history, as well as doing curatorial and exhibition work.

Amber Esau (Ngā Puhi, Kai Tahu) is a rising star of Māori poetry. Her work has been published in the literary journals Ora Nui, Blackmail Press, Ika and Landfall. / scoop.nz

*) Matariki: Name der Plejaden und der Jahreszeit im Mai/ Juni, wenn die Plejaden erstmals am Sternenhimmel aufgehen

**) Korero: Begegnung, Diskussion (Maori)

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