I’m greatly looking forward to the cultural exchange. The indigenous Taiwanese people are relatives whose distant ancestors set out about 4000 years ago eastward into the Pacific. I’ve been lucky enough to already meet some of the indigenous writers and hope to renew the meeting, and to share our stories and poetry with them. There will be much for me to learn about their literature, and to share when I return.
Robert Sullivan’s nine books include the epic poem Star Waka (Auckland University Press) which has been reprinted five times and translated into German, the graphic novel Maui: Legends of the Outcast, illustrated by Chris Slane, and the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year, Weaving Earth and Sky, illustrated by Gavin Bishop. He wrote a poem for the front steps of the Auckland City Library with a bronze installation called ‘Kawe Reo / Voices Carry’. He lives in Auckland and is head of Manukau Institute of Technology’s Creative Writing School. He has also co-edited with Albert Wendt and Reina Whaitiri two anthologies of Polynesian poetry in English, the Montana New Zealand Book Award winning Whetu Moana, and Mauri Ola. The latest anthology he has co-edited also with Reina Whaitiri is Puna Wai Korero: An Anthology of Maori Poetry in English which is the first poetry anthology of its kind. Robert belongs to the Maori tribes Nga Puhi and Kai Tahu, and is also of Irish descent.