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Haare Williams: Words of a Kaumatua

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Haare Williams and Witi Ihimaera
In Print

A kaumatua reflects in poetry and prose, in te reo and English, on his journey from te ao Maori on the East Coast to contemporary Auckland.
Ko te kopara anake e tarere ki te puihi o te makauri. Oti rawa! Kia oti rawa e!

Haare Williams grew up a rural, te reo-speaking childhood, with his Tuhoe grandparents on the shores of Ohiwa Harbour, It was a world of Tane and Tangaroa, Te Kooti and the old testament, of Nani Wai and curried cockle stew. Like many Maori of his generation, Williams learnt English at school and entered a new world moving to Auckland. Through the Maori arts movement, through protest and the rise of Maori broadcasting, Williams has witnessed and played a part in the changing shape of Maoridom. And in his poetry, in te reo and English, he has a way of capturing both the wisdom in te ao Maori and the transformation of that world over the last 50 years.

This book edited and introduced by Witi Ihimaera brings together Haare Williams’s poetry, talks, writings, and photography to produce a work that is a biography of the man—and his times—in poetry and prose. The book is in four sections: poems from the world Haare was born in; poetry from the world he began to live in; poems of the world he confronted; and poetry from the world he lives in now.

The book is a celebration of the Kaumatua as well as an exemplar of his wisdom.