About

Kia ora!

Partner, mother, teacher, reader, rookie reviewer, poet.

Champion of children, teenagers, and activism for a more just, green and peaceful world. Tau Iwi/Settler cultural ancestry, with roots in Wales, England, Scotland and the Orkney Islands. He tangata tiriti ahau. Ngā mihi aroha ki ngā manawhenua o Aotearoa, me ngā tangata katoa.

Stairway to heaven, Paekākāriki Escarpment Track, 2017.
Snapped by Jonathan Easthope.

‘Gannet ink’ comes from a memory of childhood bliss on the back of a tractor, eating messy watermelon, and gazing up at the takapu/gannet colony in the hot sun at Te Kauwae-a-Māui/Cape Kidnappers. I aim to write the way gannets dive: with grace, speed, and precision. Hopefully, not until I go blind, though.

I am delighted to have the original painting presented here in the website banner, which my dear friend, Kym Burke painted after reading leaving my arms free to fly around you. (Check out her stunning artworks). Furthermore, I was totally honoured to be gifted a kōhatu mauri, “takapu”, from Karl Webber (Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai) at the launch of Working the tang, in November last year. These two sublime offerings grace our lounge at home.

My formal educational background, in chronological order, includes Onslow College (class of ’85); Victoria University of Wellington (BA in English Lit and Anthropology, ’86-89); Cambridge University/Dominion English Schools (CTEFLA – Certificate of Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults); Te Haeata/Waikato Polytech (He Purapura 1 – Te Reo Māori); Wellington College of Education (GradDip in Teaching and Learning, 2001); and Whitireia Polytech (GradDip in Creative Writing, 2005).

My first writing teacher, Renée, told me to send individual poems out far and wide, so I did. Most get rejected, justifiably, but these places said yes on at least one occasion:

The Guardian (Unlimited), The Great American Poetry Show, The Red Wheelbarrow (University of St Andrews, Scotland), Shenandoah (US), Atlanta Poetry Review (US/NZ), Landfall, Takahē, 4th Floor, Poetry New Zealand, Blackmail Press, NZ Poetry Society anthologies, NZ Poetry Shelf, Catch and Release, A Tingling Catch (ed. Mark Pirie, 2010), of Paekākāriki (ed. Sylvia Bagnall, 2016), Phantom Billstickers poetry poster series (x3), Manifesto (ed. Emma Neale and Philip Temple, 2017), NZ Review of Books – Pukapuka Aotearoa (Autumn, 2019), Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand women’s poetry (Paula Green, 2019, MUP – forthcoming).

Poems (including audio) and other musings can be found on Paula Green’s excellent NZ Poetry Shelf

AWARDS

2nd prize, Monica Taylor Poetry Prize, takahē,2018 (“Tree of Souls”).

2nd prize, Bravado International Poetry competition, 2005 (“Free Range Men”)

Highly Commended poems in the Caselberg Trust International Poetry competition, and New Zealand Poetry Society’s International Poetry competitions.