Apirana Taylor

ANZL Member

Apirana Taylor is from the Ngati Porou, Te Whanau a Apanui, and Ngati Ruanui tribes, and also Pakeha heritage. He is a prolific poet, playwright, novelist, short story writer, story teller, actor, painter, and musician. His poems and short stories are frequently studied in schools at NCEA and tertiary level. His poetry and prose has been published nationally and internationally and translated into several languages. He has also written for radio and television. Apirana’s latest book of poetry, The Breathing Tree, was published by Canterbury University Press in 2014. His new novel, Five Strings, will be launched by Anahera Press during the Auckland Writers Festival in May 2017.

Apirana has been Writer-in-Residence at Massey and Canterbury Universities, Rangi Ruru, St Andrews College and Hagley High School. He has been invited several times to India and Europe to read his poetry and tell his stories, and to national and international festivals, the most recent in Medillen, Colombia (2012). He travels to schools, libraries, tertiary institutions and prisons throughout New Zealand to read his poetry, tell his stories, and take creative writing workshops.

A quote written by Fiona Farrell on the back of Apirana Taylor’s poetry book A Canoe in Midstream (Canterbury UP, 2009) describes Apirana and his work:


Apirana Taylor is seer and shapeshifter, poet and warrior:

strength and love find equal balance in verse that is

alternatively raging and lyrical, dramatic and

meditative, haka and haiku ….



Apirana Taylor’s website

New Zealand Book Council profile page

Canterbury University Press  author page


Bibliography: Apirana Taylor



The Breathing Tree (Canterbury UP, 2014)

A Canoe in Midstream (Canterbury UP, 2009; second edition, Canterbury UP, 2011)

Te Ata Kura (Canterbury UP, 2004)

Soft Leaf Falls of the Moon (Pohutukawa Press, 1996)

Three Shades (Voice Press, 1981)

Eyes of the Ruru (Voice Press, 1979)



Iti Te Kopara (Short stories: Pohutukawa Press, 2000)

He Tangi Aroha (Huia Publishers, 1993)

Ki Te Ao (Short stories: Penguin, 1985)

He Rau Aroha (Short stories: Penguin, 1982)

‘Inspiration is the name for a privileged kind of listening.’ - John Howard

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