First Robert Burns Fellow of Samoan descent visits Wellington

While in Wellington for the Writers on Mondays winter reading series acclaimed New Zealand dramatist Victor Rodger will attend a talanoa (discussion) co-hosted by Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) Luamanuvao Winnie Laban and the Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML).

Victor Rodger (Source: Facebook)The talanoa will bring Pasifika writers of all genres together at Victoria University to discuss their work and how creative writing programmes such as the IIML’s can best support Pasifika writing.

Mr Rodger is the 2016 Robert Burns Fellow, a literary residency at Otago University, and is the first fellow of Samoan descent. Since taking up the fellowship, he has had his first piece of fiction published in Landfall, re-written his 2002 play Ranterstantrum and worked on two new plays.

He was a writer on the Māori TV series THIS IS PIKI and has also adapted his award-winning play Black Faggot for the screen. Next year Mr Rodger’s plays Black Faggot and Puzzy (co-written with Hawaiian based writer Kiki) will be performed in Honolulu.

In a recent essay for the Academy of New Zealand Literature, Mr Rodger wrote about the Victoria University talanoa and other endeavours:

“Will these initiatives lead to books getting written and published? We have to hope so. There’s nothing quite like seeing yourself represented specifically in literature, or of writing yourself into existence.”

Emily Perkins, senior lecturer at the IIML, says: “We‘re delighted that Victor will be appearing at Writers on Mondays with another extraordinary theatre practitioner, Nina Nawalowalo. Together they’ve created some of the most charged theatre in this country. We’re also thrilled that Victor will bring his experience to the IIML talanoa.”

Victor Rodger and Nina Nawalowalo will be discussing their work with the IIML’s Ken Duncum at Te Papa at 12.15pm on Monday 8 August. Entry is free.