Poet wins residency in the States
It all started when Daren Kamali found himself busking in central Auckland.
The Fijian-born poet, writer and musician began his career 16 years ago, reading poetry on the streets.
Now 38, he’s the first Pacific writer from New Zealand to be accepted into one of the world’s longestrunning international writing programmes.
He will be attending a three-month writer’s residency at the University of Iowa from August to November.
The Auckland resident says it will be full on but well worth it.
‘‘Thirty of us from around the world are coming to work together, teach, present and learn off each other.
‘‘It’s not just all writers; there are publishers, translators, editors and we will also be working with theatre and dance.
‘‘So they will be taking our words off the pages and on to the stages.’’
Kamali will also use the opportunity to write a collection of Pacific poems to complete his third book Ink Fish Writes Again, which will complete his trilogy Squidluminaries.
‘‘I also want to work with a translator, Spanish, French or even Asian, to get my books out to the masses,’’ he says.
‘‘And I want to find international publishers and make networks and contacts.’’
Kamali has lived in New Zealand since 1992 and says his work draws on his upbringing both here and in Fiji.
Pacific poetry – it’s about the islands and the city, the old and the new.
‘‘Poetry is important to me as it’s a genre I can express myself in and it’s something I can relate to. It speaks truth in so many ways.’’
The co-founder of the South Auckland Poets Collective and Niu Navigations com- pleted a degree in creative writing from the Manukau Institute of Technology this year.
And his advice to aspiring writers?
‘‘Stick to what you are doing, get a writing degree and keep writing.
‘‘You need passion, talent and discipline.
‘‘A good writer is a good reader. I started in 1998 busking, doing street poetry.
‘‘If I can do it then anyone can do it.’’
Poetry first: Writer Daren Kamali, is looking forward to the three months he will spend at the University of Iowa.
Go to aucklandcityharbour news.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to hear Journey by Daren Kamali.