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Writer in Residence: Week One

Hinemoana Baker

 

...or: Poet with Own Office Marvels at Square Metreage

 

It's still sinking in, to be honest. I'm the 2014 writer in residence at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University. I have an office, and I get paid to come here and write. Insert disbelief and elation here. There's enough room to lie down. There are walls and windows and tui and today, a slightly damp guy with a leaf-blower.

That whakairo in the background is called Hinekākā - a farewell gift from the lovely folks at Quitline. She's named after the Green Parrot cafe, that Wellington institution where my friend and Team Leader Kat and I would spend the odd wonderful Sunday evening after a hard shift talking to people about quitting cigarettes. I use the word 'spend' mindfully. Still - that apple pie. Worth twice the price. And the whitebait omelettes. Oh dear god.

 

The white space above the harbour is normally blue. Today it's misty with rain. I am feeling lucky to be able to watch rain fall on the tops of trees, not just on the ground around them. Or, you know, on me.

 

I feel very grateful to everyone - and I mean everyone, including my doctor, my friends and my dog, as well as Creative NZ and Victoria Uni etc - who's helped me get here. I am glad to be back communicating with you all again after a long hiatus. I'll try and do this once a week, but chances are I will be a little more random than that. 

 

The project I'm working on for the next 12 months might be poetry, it might be prose. I am trying to tell a couple of big stories alongside each other. I'll be discovering it as I go, to an extent.

 

Meanwhile, my third book, 'waha | mouth', another collection of poems, will be published by Victoria University Press and launched in July or August this year. Woohooo! Stay tuned.

In fact, stay tuned as I work my way through this website, fixing bits that are a bit broken, like the shop. I know, I know, the postage thing isn't working. Soz. 

Mauri ora.

x

Hinemoana