Peter Sipeli has more than two decades of expertise in using and managing advocacy through artistic expression. He is an Arts Manager, and supporter of the Spokenword arts movement in Fiji. Peter founded 'The Poetry Shop, Fiji' six years ago and facilitates regular poetry events in Suva and poetry circle discussions with new and emerging Fijian writers.
He works as a gay activist using storytelling as advocacy. Peter founded the online arts magazine ARTtalk, Fiji that in 2017 ran 10 issues showing arts in Fiji and across the region. From 2018 to 2020, ARTtalk, Fiji is incubated at the Oceania Centre for ARTS, Culture and Pacific Studies, alongside a podcast series, an audio component to ARTtalk.
Peter is passionate about developing the literary arts in Fiji and addressing prolonged silences in the art form. A SLAM poet with a large following, he is a champion of the revival of the literary movement in Fiji, working to provide spaces for new and emerging poets and artists to enable the framing of authentic local voices. In 2016, Peter was among seven presenters who participated in the inaugural Tedx Suva in which he spoke on 'Storytelling for Advocacy'.
Cassandra Barnett (Raukawa, Pākehā) is a writer of poems, essays, stories, watercolours, whenua (land) and sound. Her 2021 chapbook How | Hao is a poignant attempt to converse with Tāne Mahuta and Wheke - Māori atua (deities) of the forest - with the help of AI text generators and other constraints. How | Hao was published by Thechroniclesof Press, and features linocuts by the writer. Other work by Cassandra can be found in journals including Cordite, Landfall, Action | Spectacle, Pantograph Punch, Ate Journal of Contemporary Māori Art, Counterfutures, South as a State of Mind (Documenta 14), Te Whē ki Tukorehe,Turbine | Kapohau, Brief and OraNui; and in books including No Other Place to Stand (Auckland UP 2022), Robin White: Something is Happening Here (Te Papa Press 2022), Te Manu Huna a Tāne (Massey UP 2020), Huia Short Stories 13 (Huia 2019) and Black Marks on the White Page (Penguin Random House 2017).
Michaela Keeble is a white Australian writer living in Aotearoa with her partner and kids. Her first full-length collection Surrender is due for release in April 2022 (Taraheke | Bushlawyer), following up on her concertina climate chapbook "intertidal", published in early 2021. A children's book, co-authored with her son Kerehi Grace and illustrated by Tokerau Brown, is forthcoming from Gecko Press in late 2022. Watch out for Paku Manu Ariki Whakatakapōkai! Michaela's poetry and short fiction have been published and anthologised widely, including in Intimate Relations: Communicating in the Anthropocene (Lexington Press, 2021).
Anahera Gildea (Ngāti Tukorehe) is a poet, essayist, and ‘artivist’. Her work has appeared in multiple journals and anthologies, and her first book was published by Seraph Press in 2016. She has worked extensively as a visual artist, performing artist, writer and teacher. Her doctoral research is focused on developing critical literary theory based on Māori intellectual traditions and on nourishing the soil of Māori literature ahakoa te aha.
essa may ranapiri (Ngāti Wehi Wehi, Ngāti Raukawa, Te Arawa, Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Pukeko, Ngāti Takatāpui, Na Guinnich) is a poet who lives on Ngāti Wairere whenua in Aotearoa. They have a great love for language, LAND BACK and hot chips. Their first book of poetry ransack (VUP) was published in 2019. Echidna is their second book published by the newly renamed Te Herenga Waka University press. They will write until they're dead. (they/ia).
In New Zealand we have a treaty, a document of partnership between Māori and 'The Crown' signed in 1840 by representatives of both parties. If such a thing exists, I am a son of the treaty. My mother is Waikato and I claim three tribes through her; Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki and Ngāti Paoa. My father is Australian, born in Quorn, SA. I entered the world a week before the Rolling Stones played their first gig. For as long as I can remember, I've been a writer but I've only called myself one since 1992 with the publication of my first children's book. Since then I've written across most genres, including fiction, non fiction and memoir, and poetry as well, which I also perform. I've been lucky enough to pick up a couple of awards, including the 2006 Best Picture Book in the NZ Children's Book Awards, as well as several shortlists and residencies. In May 2021 I was appointed inaugural Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador for New Zealand. I'm also a father of two, which I consider my best work by far.
Chris Tse is the author of three poetry collections published by Auckland University Press: How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, HE'S SO MASC, and Super Model Minority. He and Emma Barnes co-edited Out Here: An anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa. He lives and works in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.
Pip Adam is the author of four books: a collection of short stories Everything We Hoped For (Te Herenga Waka University Press, 2010), and the novels Nothing to See (Giramondo 2021), The New Animals (Te Herenga Waka University Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Acorn and I'm Working on a Building (Te Herenga Waka University Press, 2013). Pip makes the podcast Better off Read (https://betterreadnz.wordpress.com/)