FULBRIGHT–CREATIVE NEW ZEALAND WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE LEILANI TAMU

In September, the center will welcome the 2013 Fulbright–Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer-in-Residence Leilani Tamu. Leilani is a poet, magazine columnist, Pacific historian, former New Zealand diplomat, and dedicated mother. Born in New Zealand to a Samoan mother and Pākehā (European descent) father, Leilani’s mixed cultural heritage has played an important role in shaping both her creative and professional career. Her first book of poetry, The Art of Excavation, traverses the interconnected themes of Pacific history, colonization, cosmology, and genealogy and is due out in early 2014. During the three-month residency in Hawaiʻi, Leilani will work on another collection of poetry, Cultural Diplomacy. She is particularly interested in learning about the life of Princess Kaʻiulani, whom she regards as an inspirational Polynesian ancestor. She will also focus on the ways that cultural heritage has shaped the work of Hawaiian poets.
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About cpis

The Center for Pacific Islands Studies, in the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Pacific and Asian Studies, is both an academic department and a larger home for initiatives that bring together people and resources to promote an understanding of the Pacific Islands and issues of concern to Pacific Islanders.