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In the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attacks of 15 March 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared: ‘We are all New Zealanders.’ These words resonated, an instant meme that asserted our national diversity and inclusiveness and, at the same time, issued a rebuke to hatred and divisiveness. Ko Aotearoa Tatou | We Are New Zealand is bursting with new works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art created in response to the editors’ questions: What is New Zealand now, in all its rich variety and contradiction, darkness and light? Who are New Zealanders? The works flowed in from well-known names and new voices, from writers and artists from Kerikeri to Bluff. Some are teenagers still at school; some are in their eighties. Maori, Pakeha, Pasifika, Asian, new migrants, young voices, queer writers, social warriors...Aotearoa’s many faces are represented in this unique and important compendium. In a society where the arts, especially marginalised arts, are under threat, this anthology shows that creative work can explore, document, interrogate, re-imagine—and celebrate—who we are as citizens of this diverse country, in a diverse world.
About the Author
Paula Morris MNZM (Ngati Wai, Ngati Whatua) is the author of eight novels and the long-form essay On Coming Home. She is the editor of The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories. An associate professor at the University of Auckland, where she convenes the Master of Creative Writing, Paula is the founder of the Academy of New Zealand Literature, and serves on the boards of the Coalition for Books, the NZ Book Awards Trust, the Maori Literature Trust, and the Matatuhi Foundation. James Norcliffe, a poet, writer for children, and editor, has published 10 collections of poetry. His twelfth novel for young people will be published in 2020, and his first adult novel will appear in 2021. He has co-edited major collections of poetry and short fiction, including Essential New Zealand Poems, Leaving the Red Zone, and Bonsai: Best small stories from Aotearoa New Zealand. He has had a long association with the Canterbury Poets’ Collective, takahe, the ReDraft annual anthologies of writing by young New Zealanders, and, more recently, Flash Frontier. Michelle Elvy is a writer, editor, and manuscript assessor. She arrived in New Zealand in 2008 and lives in Dunedin. She edits Flash Frontier: An adventure in short fiction and is assistant editor for the Best Small Fictions series. In 2018 she co-edited Bonsai: Best small stories from Aotearoa New Zealand. Michelle’s poetry, fiction, travel writing, and creative nonfiction have been widely published and anthologised. Her book, the everrumble, is a small novel in small forms.