31 Oct 2013
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New Zealand poet, playwright and performer Hinemoana Baker has been appointed the Victoria University of Wellington/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2014. Ms Baker, a Victoria University graduate, is best known for her volumes of poetry, mātuhi / needle, published by Victoria University Press and the California-based Perceval Press, and kōiwi kōiwi / bone bone, published by Victoria University Press in 2010.
She has also published children’s writing and essays, and her work has been selected for literary collections both in New Zealand and abroad.
Ms Baker’s poetry is praised for its innovation and interest in ‘the big questions’. Her poems navigate the cultures that converge and challenge each other in her life and in the world, and balance the need to belong against the need to be an individual.
Reviewing kōiwi kōiwi / bone bone in the New Zealand Herald, Paula Green described her work as being “made of musical notes, silence, a generous revelation of the personal and a creative use of found material.
Ms Baker has participated in numerous international literary residencies and exchanges, including in Queensland, Fiji, New York City and most recently in Austria and Germany, as well as at the University of Iowa.
At the Frankfurt Book Fair she represented ‘New Zealand as Country of Honour’ in the handover ceremony to close the pavilion. As well as these international contributions, Ms Baker is committed to forging local connections and has worked for many years as a poetry tutor and editor at Whitireia New Zealand.
Ms Baker plans to use the residency to complete her third poetry collection, as well as a longer work of non-fiction.
She says the opportunity to focus solely on her creative work for a year is extraordinary.
“Juggling writing, performing and travelling around three part-time jobs is sometimes pretty challenging. I’m very appreciative of all that work, but I am also so grateful for the opportunity to put down a few of those spinning plates.”
For more information contact Emily Perkins, Senior Lecturer, International Institute of Modern Letters on 04-463 6905 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://vup.victoria.ac.nz/brands/Hinemoana-Baker.html.