Colleen is of Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi and Irish descent. After returning to New Zealand in 2016 after fifteen years in Tokyo and one in New York City, she decided to pursure her childhood dream of being an author. She began work on a collection of linked short stories, “Cherry Blossom Girl.”
“These haunting tales from the margins of Japan and New Zealand explore themes of teen suicide, the expat experience, the male gaze, and mother/daughter relationships. They reveal aspects of Japanese and Māori culture in subtle, and sometimes brutal, ways.”
Colleen will use her residency, the fifth for the year, to complete this project.
In 2017, Colleen received an Honorable Mention for the NZSA Lilian Ida Smith Award, and was awarded a scholarship by The Creative Hub and Huia Publishers. In 2018, she was selected for Te Papa Tupu, a Writing Incubator developed by the Māori Literature Trust and Huia Publishers.
Colleen is a photographer and lives in Auckland with her Italian Greyhound, Ghost.