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There are – in the tradition of Katherine Mansfield, Robin Hyde and Janet Frame – many Aotearoa writers who live beyond our shores, including Hinemoana Baker and Mohamed Hassan. What message would they like us to hear?

What can our writers who have returned home, like Paula Morris, offer their far flung fellow wordsmiths? How do more recent arrivals to our island nation in the south Pacific, like Rajorshi Chakraborti, grapple with having more than one home?

And how can we all take inspiration from these trailblazers and use the written word to connect with our own loved ones who are overseas?

As part of this year’s Festival, we’ll be offering a series of digital works that contemplate these questions and encourage our community to do the same. Keep an eye on our virtual platforms for ways to connect.

Hinemoana Baker 

Hinemoana Baker (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Te Āti Awa, Kāi Tahu) is a writer and performer currently living in Berlin, Germany. She is primarily a poet and musician, though she has also been involved with theatre, film and experimental sound work. Her latest collection of poetry, ‘Funkhaus’, was shortlisted in 2021 for The Ockhams New Zealand Book Awards. Hinemoana is completing her Doctorate at Potsdam University through the ‘Minor Cosmopolitanisms’ Research Training Group there. More information here and here. 

Paula Morris 

Paula Morris MNZM (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Manuhiri, Ngāti Whatua) is a fiction writer and essayist from Auckland. She co-edited the landmark anthologies Ko Aotearoa Tātou (2020) and A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices from Aotearoa NZ (2021), and collaborated with photographer Haru Sameshima on Shining Land: Looking for Robin Hyde (2020). An Associate Professor at the University of Auckland, where she directs the Master of Creative Writing, Paula is the founder of the Academy of New Zealand Literature and serves on the boards of the NZ Book Awards Trust, the Māori Literature Trust, the Mātātuhi Foundation and the Coalition for Books. 

Mohamed Hassan 

Mohamed Hassan is an award-winning journalist and poet from Auckland and Cairo. He was the 2015 National Poetry Slam Champion and runner up at the UK National Poetry Slam in 2021. In 2017 he was awarded the Gold Trophy at the New York Radio Awards for his RNZ podcast series 'Public Enemy'. His collection of poems 'National Anthem' was published by Dead Bird Books in 2020 and was shortlisted at the Ockham National Book Awards. 

Rajorshi Chakraborti 

Rajorshi Chakraborti was born in Kolkata, India, and lives in Wellington. He is the author of six novels and a collection of short fiction. His most recent novel, Shakti, a supernatural mystery thriller set in the political landscape of present-day India, was published in 2020, and has been longlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award, 2021. You can find out more about Raj's work at 



Throughout the Festival


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