Grace Taylor


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Spoken word poetry is a fast growing literary movement in Aotearoa and worldwide.

The amount of people being inspired by spoken word poetry as audiences and as new poets in Aotearoa is overwhelming.  Spoken word poetry is becoming a new language that cuts past social, economic and geographic boundaries.  It inspires, connects, challenges, educates and creates dialogues. It provides a safe and creative vehicle for our young people to explore, discuss and express their own stories.

As a result we have a very hungry group of emerging spoken word and performance poets for artistic development opportunities locally.

To date, the only learning opportunity locally is the initiatives of a handful of experienced spoken word and performance poets, of which we are.

Last year Grace Taylor (Spoken Word Poet, co founder of South Auckland Poets Collective and the Rising Voices Youth Poetry Slam) Daren Kamali (Pacific Performance Poet & Cofounder of the South Auckland Poets Collective) were invited to attend a one of the best Hip Hop and Spoken Word Poetry Educators Institutes in the world, the 'Hip Hop in the Heartland' at University of Wisconsin, Madison.   The 5 day intensive course brought together the leading educators, professors and emcees utilizing the media of spoken word and hip hop as a dynamic and relevant educational tool to engage students across multi-disciplinary curricula. 

On returning to New Zealand Grace and Daren adapted and shared the skills and resources they had gained from the course, by offering workshops and programmes across New Zealand.  They were able to contribute to the artistic growth of around 50 new spoken word poets in Aotearoa.  As well as to the development and resourcing of 5 new spoken word poetry educators/teaching artists under their mentorship.

Attending this institute, Grace and Daren are also ambassadors for Aotearoa spoken word poetry, both the movement and the poets on a international level.  We certainly have a particular style that truly stands out amongst the more common spoken word poetry style of USA.  One that we promote proudly and loudly.

This year Grace and Daren have once again been invited to attend 'Hip Hop in the Heartland 2013' at the University of Wisconsin, Madison - from July 22nd - 26th

"To be the best teachers, we need to be the best students.  By supporting us to attend this valuable 5 Day course, you are supporting the development of the future of spoken word poets and the careers of teachers/mentors/practitioners in Aotearoa.  You are contributing to the movement of spoken word poetry in Aotearoa. To the voice of our own people - and we thank you"

- Grace Taylor

How much should I give to the True Voices Proudly Spoken Project?

We need 400 people to donate $20 each, or 200 people to each donate $40 to reach our goal. That is trading a KFC meal for the future of Aotearoa creative voices.  All donations over $5 qualify for a tax credit and go towards enhancing the movement of spoken word poetry in Aotearoa!

We would love to meet our supporters and doners and you can expect a update soon with a meet & taster event with us over the next month.




  • SUP - Stand Up Poetry



    The debut of South Auckland's Poetry Open Mic night - SUP (Stand Up Poetry). Brought to you by Niu Navigations (Daren Kamali & Grace Taylor) and the South Auckland Poets Collective.

    These monthly open mic nights are not restricted to one venue, we will roam South Auckland, popping up for SUP in a different Southside suburb once a month.

    Any poetry is welcome, spoken word, recital, performance, prose...just come on down and sign up. 

    Koha only entry

    Our first SUP will be in 'The Black Room' at Manukau Insititute of Technology's Creative Arts School was a packed out event.

    SUP - Stand Up Poetry
  • Hosting International Poets in Aotearoa


    USA respected and well established poets Ken Arkind & Carrie Rudzinski are currently touring Aotearoa.


    Niu Navigtions is hosting a beginners to slam and spoken word poetry workshop they will be running "HOW  WE  RISE".  This is about providing invaluable opportunities for our local poets to learn from some of the worlds best.


    Details on flyer...

    Hosting International Poets in Aotearoa
  • Zach Soakai - Pink Plastic


    One of our poets, Zach, from the Navigating Spaces programme 2012.  With his poem pink plastic he challenges the stereotypes of what a man is within our Pacific cultures.



  • Arizona Ledger - Introducing Culture


    One of the poets from Navigating Spaces with her poem that was in exhibition in the Auckland Museum last year.



  • Navigating Spaces Poets Performance Features


    Check out this link below for 3 of the poets from Navigating Spaces performance of orignal poems



  • 1 of our Past Projects - Navigating Spaces


    This was one of our projects last year in collaboration with the Urbanlife Youth Project at Auckland Museum and Action Education.

    Navigating Spaces was a group of 8 Polynesian youth using spoken-word poetry to navigate their way through Auckland's urban culture. They drew inspiration from Auckland Museum's collection of tapa and masi patterns, as well as sketches of Tongan life and migration in the 1950s.

    The 10 week programme in a community showcase, filmed perforamce of each poets orignal poem to be on exhibtion in the Pacific collections at Auckland Museum for a month.  They were also invited to perform in the Museum in November 2012.

    Since the programme, 2 poets have contiuned to develop their new craft with invitations to perform around Auckland.  They all continue to write poetry and share with eachother, provide feedback and support via a active Facebook group page.




    1 of our Past Projects - Navigating Spaces