Thursday, November 17, 2016
First Navajo Nation Poet Laureate joins Victoria’s Creativity Week
17 November 2016 - Victoria University of Wellington
The first Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation in the United States will be giving free public readings in Wellington and Auckland when she visits New Zealand for Victoria University of Wellington’s inaugural Creativity Week.
The week, from 21 – 25 November, features events and performances showcasing and celebrating the University’s role as a national and international hub of smart imagination and innovation.
It is part of Victoria’s commitment to ‘Cultivating creative capital’—one of its areas of academic emphasis.
During Creativity Week, Professor Emerita Luci Tapahonso (pictured), who was named the first Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation in 2013, will be Victoria’s inaugural Wai-te-ata Press Creator-in-Residence, hosted by Associate Professor Sydney Shep, Reader in Book History and Printer at the Press.
She will be giving a free public reading (Te Marae, Te Papa, 24 November, 1pm), as well as visiting Arohata Women’s Prison with International Institute of Modern Letters creative writing teacher Dr Pip Adam and joining an interdisciplinary panel of speakers to discuss how verbal, visual and legal languages can safeguard and champion indigeneity (including Māori and Pasifika).
Professor Tapahonso will also give a free public reading at Auckland Central Library Whare (29 November, 5.30pm).Her visit is partnered by the Embassy of the United States of America.
Other Creativity Week events featuring writers include a free keynote public lecture on Being Creative by Victoria’s inaugural Ambassador of Creativity, Professor David Gauntlett, author of Making is Connecting: The Social Meaning of Creativity, from DIY and Knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0 (Lecture Theatre 1, Law School, Government Buildings, Lambton Quay, 22 November, 6pm).
Professor Gauntlett has collaborated for a decade with LEGO on innovation in creativity, play and learning, including development of the LEGO Serious Play process for businesses and other organisations.
He is author of the essay The LEGO System as a tool for thinking, creativity, and changing the world, where he says “LEGO connects with some valuable social movements—such as maker culture and open knowledge sharing—and can help to build a mindset which is creative, optimistic, and willing to try out new things”.
There will be a free series of Creativity Week Lunchtime Panel Conversations for the public in the Hub, level 2, Kelburn campus, featuring staff and other artists associated with the University:
Creativity as Theory in Practice, with Dr Anna Smaill (author of the Man Booker Prize-longlisted and World Fantasy Award for Best Novel winner The Chimes), jazz improviser Mark Donlon and filmmaker and film scholar Dr Miriam Ross (22 November, 12.30pm).
Creativity as Digital Communication, with composer Professor John Psathas, computer scientist Professor Neil Dodgson and media artist and activist Walter Langelaar (23 November, 12.30pm).
Creativity as Innovation, with Composer-in-Residence Alison Isadora, Writer-in-Residence novelist and poet Anne Kennedy and Stout Memorial Fellow writer, curator and visual artist Gregory O’Brien (24 November, 12.30pm).
Full details on these and other Creativity Week events are at