Writing and the Art of Cultural Diplomacy: Personal Reflections on “being Pacific” from a Kiwi Polynesian
“Kiwi Polynesian” Leilani Tamu is a poet, magazine columnist, Pacific historian, former New Zealand diplomat and dedicated mum. Born in New Zealand to a Samoan mother and Pakeha father, Leilani’s mixed cultural heritage has played an important role in shaping both her creative and professional career. Through her ability to draw on a diverse range of experiences, Leilani brings a fresh perspective to the table when tackling issues of social and cultural relevance to the Pacific region. In her columns, she has written about issues as diverse as racism, unemployment, property investment, cyber bullying, youth suicide and motherhood.
Leilani’s first book of poetry The Art of Excavation is due out in early 2014 and is a collection of work that traverses the inter-connected themes of Pacific history, colonisation, cosmology and genealogy. The collection took seven years to come to fruition and is being edited by New Zealand poet Siobhan Harvey.
In September 2013, Leilani will take up the Fulbright-CNZ Pacific Island Writer’s residency at the University of Hawai’i in Mānoa to work on her second book of poetry Cultural Diplomacy. While at Mānoa, Leilani will spend time learning about the life of Princess Ka’iulani who she regards as an example of a Polynesian ancestor whose legacy has the potential to inspire and motivate all people of the Pacific region.
Monday, September 23, 2013
4:00 – 5:00 pm
Campus Center 301
Tuesday September 24, 2013
ANTH 357, Dr. Joseph Genz
11:00 – 12:15
HIST 136, Dr. Kerri Inglis
12:30 – 1:45 pm
This event is co-sponsored by the International Student Services & Intercultural Education program, Minority Access & Achievement Program, Pacific Islands Studies Certificate, Pacific Islander Student Center, Professor Kerri Inglis (History), Professor Joseph Genz (Anthropology).