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Hinemoana Baker Selected As 2024 Randell Cottage Writer In Residence

Poet and performer Hinemoana Baker (Ngāti Raukawa-ki-te-Tonga, Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Te Āti Awa, Kāi Tahu, England, Germany) has been announced as the 2024 Creative New Zealand Randell Cottage Writing Fellow, and will be residing and writing in the Cottage from July to December 2024. Baker will be using her six months in residence at Randell Cottage to work on a new collection of poetry, Exhaust World.

Baker is a writer, performer and educator currently based in Berlin. She has published four previous collections of poetry with Te Herenga Waka University Press: mātuhi | needle (2004), kōiwi kōiwi (2010), waha | mouth (2014) and Funkhaus (2021).

Of her new project Exhaust World Baker says: “as the name suggests, it will feature poems of despair and desperation. There will also be a good dose of fury, revenge, and some very dark jokes. The overall vibe is, yes, exhausted, both globally and personally. As if the title were an instruction, spoken into the past, and addressed to the machinery of geopolitics in which we find ourselves enmeshed no matter where on earth we live today.”

Trustee and selection panel convener James Norcliffe says the Trust received many strong applications, from which Baker’s stood out as “demonstrating a raw energy of rage, despair and humour. Baker is one of our boldest literary talents, writing from Aotearoa to the world and back again – Exhaust World promises to be an extraordinary book.”

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Baker says she is thrilled to be taking up the residency in the coming year: “I'm still pinching myself a bit, to be honest. Any opportunity to be able to write uninterrupted, especially with financial support, is extraordinarily appreciated. The huge bonus with this residency, of course, is that it means I can come home for a while. The last eight years in Germany have been extraordinary and formative, to say the least, and I am so looking forward to bringing my full self to the Randell Cottage Writers Residency and to the city I love, Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara.”

The Randell Cottage Writers Trust was established in 2001. The restored Category II historic building, gifted to the Trust by the Randell-Price family, hosts two writers a year: one from New Zealand and the other from France. The New Zealand Fellowship is supported by funding from Creative New Zealand, which provides a stipend for the writer taking up the residency. In 2023 the New Zealand Fellowship was held by poet and artist Rachel O’Neill, who recently completed their residency in the Cottage. For the first half of the coming year the Cottage will be occupied by the 2024 French writer in residence, Julien Blanc-Gras.

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