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Talented Maori Authors at Library

7 February 2003

Five Maori authors will present readings and korero (discussion) of their work at Central City Library on Monday 10 February, 6pm - 8pm.
 “Christchurch City Libraries is delighted that Te Ha has chosen the new Nga Pounamu Maori Centre in the Central City Library as a venue to host this event,” says Haneta Pierce, Maori Services Librarian.

Te Ha was established in 1991 as a forum for contemporary Maori writers to promote excellence in writing and encourage new writers.

The following authors will speak at the event:

Briar Grace-Smith, an award winning writer of plays. She has also worked as an actor and writer with Maori Theatre companies Te Ohu Whakaari and He Ara Hou. Her first major play, Nga pou Wahine earned her the 1995 Bruce Mason Playwriting Award and her second, Purapurawhetu won best New Zealand play at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards.

Powhiri Rika-Heke, chairperson of Te Ha and a lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Canterbury. Her current research includes a comparative study of Maori and First Nations Canadian writings in English. Powhiri has recently returned from Germany, where she developed and presented a university course in indigenous writing.

Robert Sullivan, manager of Maori library services at the University of Auckland has recently returned from Canada where he participated in Honouring Words – International Indigenous Authors Celebration Tour 2002. Robert will have two books published this year, a retelling of Maori mythology for children, Creation Voyages, and a book on poetry, Captain Cook in the Underworld.

Apirana Taylor, a writer, poet, storyteller, painter and actor. His first novel He Tangi Aroha was published in 1993. Apirana’s other works include the play, Whaea Kairau, a book of poetry, Soft Leaf falls of the Moon, and a collection of short stories, Iti te Kopara. During 2002, Apirana was Ursula Bethell Writer in Residence at the University of Canterbury.

Mere Whaanga, Auckland Museum’s manager of iwi values. She has written and illustrated three bilingual children’s books and is pursuing a master’s degree in Maori Development at Massey University. Mere was awarded the Fellowship in Maori History for 2001/02 and has recently received the Creative NZ Te Waka Toi Writer’s Grant 2003 to work on an adult novel, Only the Shadow of Desire.

“We hope people will take the opportunity to come and listen to these authors on Monday evening. It is a privilege to have such talent together at our library and we look forward to sharing this experience with as many people as possible,” says Haneta Pierce.

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