Kia hari te tau hou! We are very happy to have welcomed Daniel as our first writer-in-residence for 2023, he will be working on an indigenous Moana Pasifika “eco-gothic” vampire novel.
Daniel (Samoan, Pākehā) grew up in West Auckland. He was runner-up for the 2003 Katherine Mansfield Memorial Award. During the 2000s Daniel was a performance artist and poet in Tāmaki Makaurau . His work was included in the 2006 anthology of contemporary Pacific writing, Niu Voices edited by Selina Tusitala Marsh (under the pseudonym “Tanielu de Mollard”).
During the 2010s Daniel’s art criticism was published widely, including in Art New Zealand, The Listener, ArtAsiaPacific and The Pantograph Punch. More recently, he contributed to the catalogue for Yuki Kihara’s exhibition Paradise Camp, New Zealand’s entry into the 59th Venice Biennale, published by Thames & Hudson. He has participated in numerous creative projects, ranging from film, theatre, solo and group art exhibitions to musical performances and traditional raranga (Māori weaving). He curated the 2014 exhibition The Drowned World for Tautai Pacific Arts Trust and his poetry was included as artwork in the exhibition The Cold Islanders at Waikato Museum, curated by Leafa Wilson.
In 2021 Daniel received a doctorate in English from the University of Auckland. In 2022 he was included in the inaugural Flying Fetu writers’ lab and festival. Daniel has been studying Classical Hindustani singing for four years under the tutelage of Professor Shuk Dev Madhur through Sargam School of Indian Music in Blockhouse Bay (Tāmaki Makaurau). He makes his own music under the stage name “Abel Mercer.” A debut Abel Mercer album, co-produced by Hollie Fullbrook (of the band Tiny Ruins), is now in post-production. He is @abelmercer on YouTube.