Tamara Tulitua named as 2022 Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) is delighted to announce the appointment of Tamara Tulitua as the Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence for 2022.

Girl with long dark hair and long earrings
Tamara, a Wellington-based writer of Samoan descent, traces her lineage through the villages of Lefaga, (Safa’ato’a, Gagāifo, and Matāutu) on her mother’s side, and on her father’s side through Sapapāli’i, Vailima, and Tanugamanono. Tamara’s work has appeared in literary journals and other online publications including Turbine | Kapohau and the Dominion Post. Her writing considers identity and belonging, “upending the questions ‘Are you a real Samoan?’ and ‘Can you speak Samoan?’ by exploring the myriad identities and dialects we embody and express.”

The residency will provide Tamara with a stipend of $15,000 over three months and access to a mentor. She intends to use the residency to work on a collection that mixes prose and poetry as it explores the experiences of tama’ita’i Samoa (Samoan women) in diasporic settings around the world.

Tamara says of the residency: “Fa’afetai tele mo lenei avanoa tāua ma le matagofie. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. The endorsement of my work by the IIML is a fantastic encouragement. It will be wonderful to be working in such a prestigious, nurturing community. As well as granting me space to imagine, I will have guidance from one of our Moana Oceania writers. What a privilege!”

Professor Damien Wilkins, Director of the IIML, says, “Tamara is ready to take the next step in her writing. She’s an exciting talent and we’re proud to offer her the time and space to write her book. We’re also delighted to have the generous support of the University and Creative New Zealand.”