Hinemoana Baker

Hinemoana Baker is a New Zealand poet, musician, occasional broadcaster and creative writing teacher. She traces her mixed ancestry from several Māori tribes, as well as from England and Bavaria. Her latest collection of poetry waha | mouth was published in 2014 (Victoria University Press). She published her first book in 2004 through a collaboration between Victoria University Press and actor Viggo Mortensen’s press in the USA. She has since released three collections, edited several more, and produced and released several albums of her original music and poetry. Her work pivots around sonic art, lyric poetry and family storytelling. She works in English, Māori and (more recently) German, in collaboration with Ulrike Almut Sandig. She is currently living in Berlin, where she was the 2016 Berlin writer in residence with Creative New Zealand.


Photo: Leonardo Carta


A Double-Voiced Bird »

A collaboration workshop and performance

Sat 10 March | 11:00 - 13:00 | FREE | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Upstairs Foyer

A Double-Voiced Bird in Performance »

A performance emerging from our collaborative poetry workshop

Sat 10 March | 13:00 - 13:10 | FREE | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Supper Room

In Performance »

From Belgium, New Zealand and Germany, three exciting voices launch out across boundaries

Sat 10 March | 15:30 - 16:30 | £5.50/£4.50 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre



He roped me, he roped me twice the second time
it caught, fell at the right angle and landed around the bones
of my dress. He roped me from the East like light rising, from the
West like light falling, in the arrangement of his cutlery,
the bubbling land moving on its plates. Without words
or entertainment and without true silence he
roped me in the mud, in the kind of mud people call sucking,
or stinking, it sticks to one’s body, one’s feathers and folds.
I couldn’t bear the thought of soup or vast pastures, he roped me
without heart or dancing, when he called me his wriggly little girl.
It was like freezing, when he roped me, I watched a thousand
doors clap shut in the clouds. He roped me and began to pull,
in spite of his own injuries, and I allowed him to be lonely.
With a shovel I buried the turquoise feathers, warm from the sun,
winter in the blood. In my mind I wrote letters to all those I’d
wronged, I want to be buried with a family resemblance.

Hinemoana Baker

From waha | mouth (Victoria University Press, 2014)

NB: This poem takes its recurring motif, and the first words of the penultimate line, from the novel Winter in the Blood by Blackfeet writer James Welch (Penguin, 2008).