Anahera Gildea (Ngāti Tukorehe)

Anahera is writing hybrid critical/creative essays that interrogate rhetorical sovereignty at the intersection between colonisation and Māori literature.

Commenced 2018

Anahera (Ngāti Tukorehe) has worked extensively as a visual and performing artist, a writer, and a teacher.  Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Cordite Poetry Review, Pantograph Punch, Landfall Online Review, Black Marks on the White Page, Huia Short Stories, the NZ Edition of Poetry (2018), and Tātai Whetū: Seven Māori Women Poets in Translation. She has been an award finalist for both her poetry and short stories and won the Huia Best Novel Extract in English and the Takahe Short story competition.  In 2016 she published a book of poetry 'Poroporoaki to the Lord My God, Weaving the Via Dolorosa'.

She holds a BA in Art Theory, Graduate Diplomas in Psychology, Teaching, and Performing Arts, and a Master's degree in Creative Writing from Victoria University of Wellington. In 2020 she took a hiatus from PhD study to convene the MA poetry and nonfiction workshop at the International Institute of Modern Letters.

'A Water Suite' her poetic collaboration with Evelyn Araluen as part of Red Room Poetry's Fair Trade project, was first performed live online in August 2021, during Red Room's World Poetry Month Australia/Aotearoa showcase.

Sedition: Poems - Anahera's first full-length collection - was released by Taraheke | BushLawyer in 2022.

Anahera writes: 'My doctoral research examines and questions the current discourse around Māori literature with a view to interrogating what it means to retain rhetorical sovereignty, both as an indigenous writer in Aotearoa and in the critical discourse space. I am passionate about decolonising methodologies in this field and am working towards the articulation of a mātauranga Māori lens through which to view literature. My research is generative rather than reductive in the hope that crucial questions will emerge to fully develop this particular lens.

'My methodology will draw on pūrākau as form, resulting in a series of hybrid critical/creative essays that juxtapose and layer academic research with self-reflexive, creative illuminations. In this way I hope to demonstrate the influence of Māori intellectual traditions, work to decolonise the reader, and contribute to the scaffolding of a unique mātauranga Māori informed perspective of creative writing.'

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