Dinah Hawken

There Is No Harbour


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Dinah Hawken’s new long poem interweaves her family history in the early years of Pākehā settlement in Taranaki; a short history of the Taranaki Wars; and her thoughts and feelings as she researched and wrote the poem.

‘The completion of the poem has not led me to any sense of resolution. It has led to something less measurable, perhaps more valuable—greater clarity, particularly of the depth of injustice Māori have endured in Taranaki. At the same time it has strengthened my attachment and my gratitude to my great and great-great grandparents, whom I know as essentially good people. And it has led me back to Parihaka: to profound respect for Te Whiti and Tohu, the art of leadership, the art of passive resistance, and their refusal of human war.’—Dinah Hawken

Dinah Hawken is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated poets. She was born in Hawera in 1943 and trained as a physiotherapist, psychotherapist and social worker in New Zealand and the United States and has worked as a student counsellor and writing teacher at Victoria University of Wellington. Her previous poetry collection is Ocean and Stone (VUP, 2015).

Cover: Marian Maguire, Bilingual belly amphora, 1867. Tītokowaru ponders the embers (2010)