Tehnuka (she/they) is a Tamil tauiwi volcanologist born and raised in Ōtautahi, and living in Kirikiriroa. She has over thirty short stories, poems, and essays published in magazines and anthologies. Her stories have been highly commended in the NZ Sunday Star Times short story contest and shortlisted internationally in the Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize; she was also a finalist in the Image 2200 climate fiction contest. She is the 2023 winner of the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best New Talent for her speculative writing that spans fabulism, climate fiction, and weird horror.
During her residency, Tehnuka will work on ‘A Diasporan’s Guide to Effective Integration’. This novella follows members of a Tamil family of first- and second-generation immigrants to Aotearoa, exploring how our history in one country informs our lives in another. How do we return to the land—whether in life or in death—in a land we do not belong to? And how do we heal ourselves and the environment—if not wholly, at least enough to go on?