Ben Brown was awarded the Maori Writer’s Residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre for 2011 (eight weeks from mid-May). He is known for his poetry, children’s books, non-fiction and for his short stories. Since 1992 he has collaborated with his wife, illustrator Helen Taylor, on numerous publications. They won Best Picture Book at the 2006 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. He has been selected for the residency to work on a collection of poetry and short poetic-prose pieces that explore the concept of mana. The project is called Between the Kindling and the Blaze. Later he plans to develop the book into a performance piece incorporating multimedia elements, including spoken work, visual imagery and live music. Born in Motueka, he has affiliations with the Waikato-Tainui (Ngati Paoa and Ngati Mahuta). He lives in Lyttelton. This is the second year the Michael King Writer’s Centre has been able to offer a residency especially to a Maori writer, thanks to the support of Te Waka Toi, the Maori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand.
Photo: H J Taylor, 2008