Kamali, Daren

Kamali, Daren


Primary publisher
Anahera Press

In Brief

Daren Kamali is a poet, writer and musician. He co-founded the South Auckland Poets Collective in 2008 and has been a creative arts youth worker and mentor for more than 10 years, promoting poetry and its potential for social change. In 2013, he established Niu Navigations with Grace Taylor, an organisation that is committed to encouraging the publication and performance of Aotearoa and Pacific poetry.


Kamali, Daren is a poet, writer and musician and his work is influenced and inspired by his Fijian background. Born and raised in Fiji, Kamali moved to New Zealand as a child where he later became a dedicated creator and supporter of New Zealand and Pacific poetry. For 10 years he was a creative arts youth worker and mentor and, in 2008, he founded the South Auckland Poets Collective with Grace Taylor and Ramon Narayan. As a Youthline initiative, the collective aims to foster a passion for poetry in young people, using spoken word poetry and performance as a tool for positive social change. Of his contribution, the collective writes: ‘Daren’s pursuit of Pacific poetry is an inspiration to those who have followed in his footsteps’ (SAPC website).

His commitment to providing opportunities for poets to develop and share their work is now channeled into Niu Navigations, an organisation he founded with partner Grace Taylor in 2013. Their guiding belief is that ‘our people should be cultivating, creating and sharing their own stories’ (Niu Navigations website).

His published works include Tales, Poems & Songs from the Underwater World (self-publ, 2011) and Squid Out of Water (Ala Press, Hawaii, 2014). He has also released two albums: Immigrant Story (2000) and Keep It Real (2005).

Kamali has completed a Bachelor of Creative Writing at Manukau Institute of Technology and was a New Zealand delegate to the Festival of Pacific Arts in 2004 (to Palau) and in 2012 (to the Solomon Islands). In 2012 he was awarded residency at the University of Hawaii as the Fullbright–Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer in Residence.

Daren Kamali undertook a three-month writer’s residency at the University of Iowa in 2014. The residency is offered in partnership with Creative New Zealand and allows a New Zealand writer to live and work at the University of Iowa in the United States and participate in its International Writing Program.


Updated February 2017.