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Creative focus on Māori and Pasifika perspectives

Creative focus on Māori and Pasifika perspectives

For the first time, Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) will offer a creative writing course for students to write from or about Māori and Pasifika perspectives.

Titled Te Hiringa A Tuhi, the course will be taught by award-winning novelist and Victoria University creative writing graduate Dr Tina Makereti (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Pākehā, Moriori).

Dr Makereti says she is looking forward to exploring this vibrant, but still underrepresented, field with students. “We'll be engaging with the questions many of us encounter when writing creatively and thinking about culture, and we'll be trying new forms and figuring out how to simply produce good writing.”

The course is for people interested in writing fiction, poetry or creative non-fiction informed by Māori or Pasifika viewpoints, cultures and origins, the process of colonisation, or questions of identity and belonging.

Professor Damien Wilkins, Director of the IIML, is pleased that a writer of Dr Makereti’s calibre will be leading the course. “Our hope is that Māori and Pasifika writers who haven’t previously considered studying creative writing will respond to this terrific opportunity.”

Dr Makereti’s first book, Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa, won the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards Fiction Prize 2011. Her acclaimed debut novel is Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings.

In 2009 she was the recipient of the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing (non-fiction), and in the same year received the Pikihuia Award for Best Short Story Written in English.

Dr Makereti was 2012 Writer in Residence at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, and is currently the Creative New Zealand Randell Cottage Writer in Residence.

Applications for the trimester two course are now open. The course is limited to 12 places.

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