Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence
About the residency
2021 Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence—Simone Kaho
Born in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Simone is well known as a performance poet and creative non-fiction writer. Her 2016 poetry collection Lucky Punch was called 'brave and beguiling' in the New Zealand Herald, while the Pantograph Punch noted the book's 'affirming joy'. She has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the IIML, which she received in 2010.
Simone directed the E-Tangata documentary series Conversations, which features six Māori and Pasifika women telling their stories. She also wrote the editorial and stories for WAKA, about the battle to continue cultural practices around waka building and way-finding. She now works as a reporter for Tagata Pasifika.
During the residency, she will work on a collection of essays about identity and colonisation in Aotearoa New Zealand, with a special focus on the Pacific diaspora.
2020 Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence—Tavita Nielsen-Mamea
Tavita, a Dunedin-raised writer of Samoan and Tuvaluan descent, hailing from the villages of Safotu, Safune, Apia, and Nukufetau, will use the residency to work on a new theatre project.
His first play Au Ko Tuvalu played at the 2019 Wellington Fringe Festival, where it was awarded Outstanding Ensemble and Tavita the Most Promising Emerging Artist. It has subsequently had successful runs at the Court Theatre and Kia Mau Festival, and will have an Auckland season at TAPAC from 23–26 October 2020.
Tavita will receive a stipend of $15,000 to write and research his new work at the IIML for three months. Due to the 2020 pandemic, this residency will be held in 2021.
Tavita Nielsen-Mamea named as 2020 Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence (22 October 2019)
Previous Emerging Pasifika Writers in Residence
All photos by Robert Cross.