Taylor, Grace Teuila Evelyn

Taylor, Grace Teuila Evelyn

Information

residence
Auckland

In Brief

Grace Teuila Evelyn Taylor is a poet and performer, and a strong contributor to the New Zealand and Pacific poetry community. She co-founded the South Auckland Poets Collective in 2008, an organisation that promotes spoken word poetry as a powerful tool for social change, and co-founded the Rising Voices Youth Poetry Slam in 2011. In 2013, she established Niu Navigations with Daren Kamali, an organisation that is committed to encouraging the publication and performance of Aotearoa and Pacific poetry. Her first published collection of poetry, Afakasi Speaks, was released in 2013 (Ala Press, Hawaii).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Taylor, Grace Teuila Evelyn is a poet and performer, and a strong contributor to the New Zealand and Pacific poetry community. Her mixed heritage – Samoan and English – and her search for cultural identity have informed much of her work. She has worked extensively as a youth development worker and in facilitating and producing spoken word poetry events, workshops and programmes.

In 2008 she co-founded the South Auckland Poets Collective, an organisation that promotes spoken word poetry as a powerful tool for social change. In 2011 she co-founded the Rising Voices Youth Poetry Slam, providing the opportunity for young poets to perform and develop their work in a supportive environment. This is now an annual Auckland event. In 2013, with partner Daren Kamali, she established Niu Navigations, an organisation that is committed to encouraging the publication and performance of Aotearoa and Pacific poetry.

Taylor has performed her poetry widely and published individual poems with Blackmail Press and in the Hawaii Review (issue 79). Her first published collection of poetry, Afakasi Speaks, was released in 2013 (Ala Press, Hawaii). Paula Green reviewed the collection (NZ Poetry Shelf, 2 Dec 2013), describing it as ‘tender, strong and essential’ and concluding that ‘This debut collection is an important entry on the New Zealand poetry landscape. The poems are strong, with wings set to fly and lead us out of misplaced preconceptions into revitalising connections.’

Taylor was winner of the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival Poetry Idol in 2008 and a Vodafone Foundation World of Difference Recipient in 2012. She is currently completing a Masters of Arts in Youth Development at Auckland University of Technology.

Taylor was the recipient of the Emerging Artist award at the 2014 Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards.

MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS

South Auckland Poets Collective
Niu Navigations
Review of Afakasi Speaks in NZ Poetry Shelf
Review of Grace Taylor’s performance at TedxAuckland 2013
Grace Taylor’s Afakasi blog

Updated January 2017.