Well-chosen words

05 Apr 2019

Poet, storyteller and modern troubadour Apirana Taylor, of Ngati Porou, Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngati Ruanui and Pākeha descent, mesmerised his audience of Year 9 English students at College on Tuesday 2 April and Thursday 4 April, weaving together stories, poetry and music, sharing his love of tikanga, te reo and te ao Māori, his insights into what it takes to be a poet, and his passion for language, his way with words.

“People think to be a poet you need to be brainy, you don’t. What makes a poet a poet is the ability to use language, to play with words – and the rules of grammar don’t necessarily apply. Language is a great gift. When you can use words well, it’s powerful. You can express so much using your breath, actions and expressions, and a few well-chosen words.”

Apirana writes poems about New Zealand history and today’s society, people he meets, whanau and friends, his treasured possessions. He tells the stories that need to be told, and admits anything and anyone is fair game.

“When you meet a writer or poet be careful what you say. Don’t tell them your life story because you might find it written up in a book.”

As a performance artist and poet, Apirana has travelled all over the country and around the world. His is an inspirational and memorable voice in New Zealand arts and literature.

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