Tuesday, October 30, 2018
New novel from Morrinsville author Vaughan Rapatahana
Morrinsville author Vaughan Rapatahana has a new novel out with the intriguing title of Novel.
Rapatahana’s new book moves from a violent murder in a Kiwi meatworks to the Philippines, Hong Kong and People’s Republic of China. It mirrors in many ways the prolific writer's contribution to publications in countries worldwide, from the UK to France to Asia and the US.
His career has involved contributing to dozens of literary journals in various languages and publishing academic text and fiction, and now Rapatahana is entering retirement and looking to write the follow-up to Novel.
Vaughan said money and time are restrictions, which is why family are helpful. “My daughter Pauline Canlas Wu – a tattoo artist in Hong Kong - illustrated Novel, while my wife Leticia Canlas helped out on the book too.”
It was 1977-79 when the then-24 year old taught in Kerikeri then later returned to live at Pakaraka and then Awarua, after working in the tiny republic of Nauru.
During his Northland years, Vaughan says literature was at a low ebb. “If there was stuff going on, I wasn’t much aware of it. I was starting to write myself. I got a couple of stories published in the PPTA Journal.”
“I remember going to see Sam Hunt and Gary McCormick up north about 1981. Sam Hunt definitely was an inspiration. We have since sporadically kept in touch, eh.”
Talk of the popular poet gets Vaughan namedropping contemporaries who have made a mark in NZ literature – fair enough considering Vaughan has been inside schools, universities and workplaces with David Eggleton, Roger Horrocks and James Norcliffe, and now sees a lot of fellow Waikato poet, Bob Orr.
With the rate of creative writing that Vaughan publishes, one would think he has been going forever, but Vaughan feels it was only ten years ago that he came into his own as a writer. Vaughan says his books have “probably not” made a lot of money. “But I’m not in it for the money, mate.” He chose Rangitawa Publishing for Novel because he says it ties in which the marginalised perspective from which he writes.
Amongst other achievements, Vaughan has won the Proverse Poetry Prize, his poetry collection Atonement was nominated for a National Book Award in Philippines, and his writing has been published in French, Tagalog and te reo Māori. His poem Rangiaowhia has been shortlisted for the NZSA Canterbury Heritage Book and Writing Awards 2018.
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